Princeton Suspends Men’s Swimming and Diving Team’s Season

Princeton University has announced that they have suspended the season of their men’s swimming & diving team pending a final decision whether to finish off the remainder of their schedule. The suspension comes after the discovery of material that was described in a press release as “vulgar,” “offensive,” “racist,” and “misogynistic” on the university-sponsored team listserv (group email distribution service).

University athletic director Mollie Marcoux Samaan and head coach Rob Orr made the call to suspend the team, according to the press release.

“We make clear to all of our student-athletes that they represent Princeton University at all times, on and off the playing surface and in and out of season, and we expect appropriate, respectful conduct from them at all times,” Samaan said. “The behavior that we have learned about is simply unacceptable. It is antithetical to the values of our athletic program and of the University, and will not be tolerated.”

The suspension is effective immediately.

“In the coming days we will make a determination about the status of the team’s remaining schedule and we also will work collaboratively to determine additional actions aimed at education and positive culture building for the team,” she added.

The press release also underscored Princeton‘s commitment to an inclusive, harassment-free environment.

The Princeton men’s swimming and diving team was the center of a different but similar controversy in April of 2015. A video of a group called Urban Congo, mostly members of the Princeton swimming and diving team, that caused a social media outcry from a portion of the student body calling it insensitive to African culture.

Before the suspension, the team’s remaining meets for the season were a dual versus Navy January 7th, a tri versus Harvard and Yale February 5th, and the Ivy League Championships February 22nd-25th.

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David Sims
6 years ago

Academia is so very hypocritical about race, granting non-whites more rights to speech than whites get, and then pretending that they do no such thing.

Behold. See speech texted between black football players who were then on the Golden Gophers team at the University of Minnesota, who were either planning or executing the gang-rape of a female student.

“Party at my crib 331 invite hoes!!”
“I got 4 hoes where the party at”
“Go to the rail hella hoes”
“i just told some hoes”
“if she aint tryna fck imma be pissed.”
“run her?”
“Me and the recruit finna double team this bitch.”
“Lol we forreal going brazy lol.”
“all 3 them… Read more »

Sane Swim Parent
Reply to  David Sims
6 years ago

“Ranking” the attractiveness of girls on a listserve is not misogynistic?

Sane Swim Parent
Reply to  David Sims
6 years ago

You really would have to compare athletes from the same school communicating on the same kind of forum to make a case for the argument you are trying to make.

Old Swimmer
6 years ago

Where is Princeton on their final decision? It has been 7 days since they dropped the press release to the world on their mens swim program. The Princeton students are all home and the campus is empty – except for the faulty and coaches? Hopefully, they will make a decision one way or another very soon….

Princeton owes a timely decision to the swim community! Or maybe the real issue is we have a leadership issue at Princeton?

Enough already
Reply to  Old Swimmer
6 years ago

Leadership might, in fact, be the issue that needs to be addressed. One of Princeton’s top swimmers (a senior) has been suspended twice and their captain was arrested for possession of a fire arm. Are the coaches unaware of what is going on under their noses? These young guys need to grow up.

6 years ago

The daughter of one of SwimSwam contributor swims at Princeton, I guess more details could be given here if there is a willingness to do so.

Reply to  oooo
6 years ago

0000 – Ms. Lepesant, while she frequently covers the Ivy League, has been excused from all reporting and decision-making on this story, for the reasons you pointed out. We wouldn’t expect her to use her position as a parent of a team member on a subject such as this.

6 years ago

I see a lot of people commenting that it’s impossible to make a decision on if this is an appropriate punishment because no details, messages, or quotes from the offending messages have been released by Princeton.

Ultimately, the punishment or judgment on is not the public’s decision to make. It is solely up to the University administrators, and judging from all the other sources where this story has been reported, they are refraining from releasing these details to protect the members of the women’s team. Does your morbid curiosity trump the right to privacy of these young women that were subjected to these comments?

Frank the Tank
Reply to  blerg
6 years ago

It is not “morbid curiosity” to ask how many members of the team did anything wrong. That and other information of interest to the public and swimming community could easily be released without intruding upon anyone’s privacy.

6 years ago

They are on a roll . George Washington U just suspended the men’s soccer team because of a 2015 post someone found about the women’s soccer team. 2015 & who is to know if the bad commenter has graduated? Perhaps they can retroactively rescind his degree .

This is going great .

Reply to  G.I.N.A
6 years ago

Wrong school. It was Washington University in St. Louis, not GW in DC.

Reply to  Nepotism
6 years ago

NO ‘George’ ? – SO that is why I have always been a bit confused with the St Louis one . So i’ll remember them this way – Washington & (King )Louis & no George down south & George & Washington in Washington but no Louis .

I’ll try & keep a note but I’m prepared for neither name to survive becoz – you know – slaves !

The King
6 years ago

Wabash Always Fights and Depauw sucks

bobo gigi
6 years ago

I’m pretty sure the illegitimate new US President elected (around 2 million votes less than his rival) will quickly invite these very smart young men at White House to congratulate them and give them the Medal of Freedom.

Reply to  bobo gigi
6 years ago

Frenchman. Enough said.

6 years ago

The moral of the story is don’t be racist, sexist or misogynistic. The practical takeaway for current collegiate teams is don’t be racist, sexist or misogynistic in a permanent, public medium.

Reply to  Harambe
6 years ago

I read through all of the comments. What I really wanted to know is WHAT was said and WHO said it (ie just one person or multiple people agreeing and adding to it) so that I could make my own decision about this issue. I have no idea whether what was said was a mini-micro-aggression and everyone is just being “too sensitive” or whether what was said was patently offensive, promoting rape culture, etc.

Though this story has been published by many news outlets, no one has answered the basic information (WHAT, WHEN, WHY, WHO…etc) that is essential to including in a news story and none of the commenters have added significantly to the discussion by adding anything based on… Read more »

About Hannah Hecht

Hannah Hecht

Hannah Hecht grew up in Kansas and spent most of her childhood trying to convince coaches to let her swim backstroke in freestyle sets. She took her passion to Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa and swam at NAIA Nationals all four years. After graduating in 2015, she moved to …

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