Colgate University’s men’s swimming and diving team has been suspended from competition for the fall semester due to allegations of misconduct.
According to SwimSwam, all members of the swimming and diving team have been suspended after an investigation turned up evidence of hazing and high-risk alcohol consumption.
“We regret the need to make this decision but also want to communicate clearly and unequivocally that hazing and high-risk drinking have no place in Colgate’s Division I athletics program or at Colgate University,” said Colgate Vice President and Director of Athletics Dr. Nicki Moore in statement. “In order to create a healthy and safe community of competitive excellence, we must ensure that our teams foster cultures that are free of such behaviors, which also run counter to the university’s values.”
An investigation was conducted by the Department of Athletics and the Dean of College Office.
The team was scheduled to take a 12-day training trip to Florida from the end of December into the new year. Instead, the men’s team will resume competition on January 11 at the Buffalo Diving Invite.
SwimSwam reports that the incident at Colgate is just the latest in a long list of hazing incidents perpetrated by NCAA swimming teams. Western Kentucky suspended its swimming & diving program for five years after an investigation that revealed underage drinking, hazing and sexual harassment. Swimming and diving teams at Brown University, Dartmouth and the University of California Santa Barbara have also seen discipline for hazing incidents.
Paul J. McLoughlin II, the vice president and dean of the college, categorically condemned hazing in an email to the Colgate community that was reported on by Syracuse.com.
"Hazing is inimical to Colgate's values'' he said in the email. "Hazing has been shown, in many studies, to not be effective in building bonds or eliciting loyalty.
"As recently as last spring and nearly every academic year, colleges and universities report hazing activities on their campuses that have led to student deaths.'' he said. "Whether at Penn State, Clemson, or Cornell, in each case students died as a result of hazing activities, peer pressure, and the rapid consumption of alcohol.
"These students' lives may have been saved had a peer intervened earlier, spoke up sooner, or exhibited bystander behavior that is well known and encouraged by colleges and universities,'' he said.
Members of the Colgate team will be required to undergo mandatory education regarding hazing prevention and high-risk alcohol use.