The University of Denver has suspended 38 members of the men’s and women’s swimming & diving team for attending a “large off-campus party,” according to a letter sent to the student body and other stakeholders.
The announcement comes 5 days after the school upgraded its alert level on campus.
As a result of the violations, the 38 athletes are suspended from participating in team activities through the rest of the fall quarter after attending the party in violation of local and state health restrictions as well as university policies that limit gatherings to 10 people, with all participants required to wear face coverings and maintain social distancing. The fall quarter runs through November 20.
They will also have to go through the “Student Rights and Responsibilities (SRR) process for disciplinary action, which may include interim academic suspension for the fall quarter pending the outcome of the SRR process.”
All 38 student-athletes will also have to undergo new coronavirus tests and will have their movement restricted until those tests are received.
“We understand that what we are asking all of our students to do — to change how they socialize and connect with their peers — is difficult,” the letter, signed by chancellor Jeremy Haefner and athletics chancellor Karlton Creech. “The realities of the COVID-19 pandemic are putting significant pressure on all of us. We also believe our students can rise to this challenge the way generations of young people have risen in the past to the unique challenges of their own time. Indeed, we are proud that the vast majority of our students are meeting this challenge by following the protocols and still having a meaningful social experience in a face-to-face manner.”
The school has not released names of those who have been suspended. The team has 26 male and 28 female swimmers listed on their 2020-2021 roster, though it’s not clear how many of those are on campus.
The school has recorded 3 previous outbreaks of coronavirus: one in a residence hall, one within the school’s gymnastics team, and one within the school’s athletics center.
The Denver Pioneers say that the start of their 2020-2021 swimming & diving season has been delayed until January of 2021.
Last season, the Denver men and women swept the Summit League titles in Division I for the 7th-straight year. The two programs have combined to win 152 of the last 154 event titles in the Summit League. The two exceptions were the 2020 men’s 100 IM, in which the Pioneers didn’t have an entry, and a disqualified relay in 2019.
Last season, Denver qualified 3 swimmers individually for the men’s NCAA Championship meet, which was ultimately canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic: Cameron Auchinachie, Sid Farber, and Adriel Sanes. All 3 were juniors.
The school was also qualified to swim 4 relays at the NCAA Championships.
The Colorado Department of Public Health distributed a report this week that says there are 39 active COVID-19 outbreaks in the state associated with schools, including 1,503 confirmed student cases at the University of Colorado Boulder.
So far, only 15 students have tested positive at the University of Denver.
Nationally, cases have begun to rise again after hitting a peak in early September, with 44,000 new cases reported on Tuesday. Much of this rise is attributed to the reopening of schools, where because of their age, students are generally at lower risk for, but not immune from, severe complications from COVID-19.
Colorado hit a new record high of 761 new confirmed cases in one day last week, and has seen a 50% increase in new daily cases over the last 2 weeks. Deaths continue to decrease in the state, however.
Multiple colleges have suspended, or even expelled, students for violations of coronavirus rules. Most recently, Purdue this week suspended 13 student-athletes for an on-campus party, though the school did not identify which teams those student-athletes were members of.