Submit Your Swimming Hazing Stories

In light of this week’s news coming out of Boston College, SwimSwam is interested in hearing what our readers have to say and the past experiences they’ve had.

These stories will help inform the conversation we have on the Podcast next week with an expert in this field. The value of using real stories is that it helps ground the conversation in reality. This is a fairly-common tactic used in radio and television talk shows and podcasts, so it’s not something we invented.

Among the benefits of grounding the conversation in reality is that it undercuts the abilities of people who would like to ignore the problem to say “yeah that never happens.”

We’ve already received some really interesting stories, and almost every email so far has included thoughts about how the experience made them feel. That’s an incredibly valuable opportunity.

On Wednesday, it was revealed that Boston College had suspended its men’s and women’s swimming & diving programs indefinitely after allegations of hazing surfaced.

While the school’s Office of the Dean of Students is still investigating the situation, three individuals close to the team have told SwimSwam that individuals were forced to drink until they vomited, and then wear that vomit tied in a bag around their necks.

Despite it being fazed out over the last decade or so, hazing to some degree has traditionally been part of the initiation process for incoming freshmen in the majority of college sports.

Given a good portion of our readership is made up of current or former collegiate swimmers, either in the United States, Canada, or elsewhere, we at SwimSwam are interested in hearing your experiences with hazing, if you have any.

Send Your Submissions Here

If you’re willing, please submit your hazing stories to . Please include a year, and a school, if willing. If not, at least the “level” of the program, whether it be NCAA Division I in a Power Five conference, mid-major, D2 or D3, CIS/U SPORTS in Canada, etc.

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5 months ago

This guy I know Duffy made the freshman do HOG Pulls. It was brutal punishment in the weight room but it gave us the extra edge to win the championship meat.

5 months ago

To stop hazing, ask if the coach knows about it. If so, bye bye coach. If not, let coach know.

5 months ago

This post will turn into some poor team from 15 years ago getting their championship banner taken down

Former College Swimmer
Reply to  Backstroke03
5 months ago

Or worse. Cut. Swimming is ALWAYS on the chopping block. ALWAYS. If an AD finds out about Hazing they will find it as an excuse to cut the team and cost to save money. This is a very very very very bad idea.

Reply to  Former College Swimmer
5 months ago

Sometimes I feel like SwimSwam hates swimming

Georgia Rambler
5 months ago

Interesting discussion, but no one has mentionee the purpose of hazing, if any. As a non-traditional student with family responsibiliies, I didn’t have an opportunity to compete in college sports. However, if the root purpose of hazing is team bonding, than similar activites exist in the business world and academia, some potentiallty dangerous, especially to the non- athletic members of the team. Peer pressure is a very powerful motivator when you are competing for a job or promotion.

Reply to  Georgia Rambler
5 months ago

I think the phrase “rite of passage” gets used often when defending hazing, and the idea everyone before you has done this so you should too.

Truthfully, every college athlete can think of a few freshmen who came into the program extremely arrogant and maybe even rude, with no respect toward the upper-classmen or maybe even training staff. Hazing bruises the ego and drops them down a peg, reminding them of their place and teaching (forcing?) respect.

Former D1 Swimmer
5 months ago

I love my school. I took a strong stance on how I did not want to do or be apart of any hazing traditions. If they “made me” do any thing I threatened to tell coaches. Like bro, I’m not getting kicked off the team/school for not doing your stupid traditions. Speak up with courage! If you don’t want to do something don’t do it! You’ll probably be outcasted but stick with your morals and beliefs. Hopefully this helps someone.

5 months ago

Is hazing forcing a new member to do something without a choice? Is it only ‘bad’ things? Like would a spicy hot wings challenge be hazing? Sorry for seeming dumb

Reply to  Skipper
5 months ago

Bullying and hazing are similar but not identical concepts.

Hazing is specifically related to an activity expected of someone to join a group. If everyone does the hot wing challenge, it’s not hazing. If it’s an optional activity that doesn’t impact someone’s formal or social placement in the group, it’s not hazing. If it’s not abusive, it’s not hazing.

Reply to  Braden Keith
5 months ago

Seems like being required to attend a diversity, inclusion and equity seminar qualifies as hazing! LOL

5 months ago

Do birthday swims count? Lol

5 months ago

As for hazing, I stopped it when I was an athlete, exposed it for what it is. I told those who’d done it before I got there that it was stupid and I wouldn’t go along. They knew I was capable of stopping them and hazing died when the rest of f the newbies sided with me. Be willing to stand up for what’s right

Reply to  Virgil
5 months ago

Wow, you are so amazing for standing up, being a leader and saying no, and being so impressive. You standing up for what’s right I’m sure served as a shining beacon of righteousness. I wish you were my captain! Ugh. Jealous.

Doreen Stock cosenza
Reply to  Virgil
5 months ago

That’s exactly how you do it!!

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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