The Princeton University men’s swimming and diving team has been suspended after school officials were alerted about content on the school-sponsored men’s swimming and diving team listserv and other materials that were vulgar, offensive, misogynistic and racist, the university announced Thursday night.
Princeton University Director of Athletics Mollie Marcoux Samaan and head swimming coach Rob Orr suspended the season pending a decision about the remainder of the team’s schedule.
“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.”
“Samaan reviewed the situation with Orr, and they decided to suspend the season, and all associated team activities, 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,” Samaan said.
The team is currently scheduled for two remaining meets versus Navy on Jan. 7 and versus Harvard and Yale on Feb. 5, along with the Ivy League Championships Feb. 22-25.
“The athletics department and the University are committed to providing an inclusive environment free from harassment and intimidation and characterized by mutual respect and concern for the well-being of others,” Samaan said.
“In recent years we have worked closely with Princeton’s SHARE office to provide educational and training programs for our students and our staff. One program developed by SHARE in conjunction with my office is SCORRE,” she said. “This program uses the bond between coaches and players to foster interactive dialogue and develop skills that promote healthy interpersonal relationships. Its modules cover such topics as respect, integrity, language, consent, and bystander intervention. We have also developed a program that will be introduced next month that focuses on the responsible and productive use of social media. We will continue to focus on such programs as well as redouble our ongoing efforts to achieve our primary goal, which is education through athletics.”
In April 0f 2015 the Princeton men’s swimming and diving team was at the center of another controversy after a video of a performance by a group called Urban Congo caused an outcry on social media for being insensitive to African culture. Many of the members of the group belonged to the swimming and diving team.
A similar situation took place at Harvard University last fall. In November, the Harvard Athletic Department decided to cancel the remainder of the 2016 men’s soccer season after the Harvard Crimson reported that players produced sexually explicit scouting reports about Harvard women’s soccer recruits.