Western Kentucky University has suspended their Swim team for the next five years effectively immediately. University President Dr. Gary Ransdell and Athletic Director Todd Stuart announced this morning after the allegations of hazing and multiple violations of Title IX statues.
According to a story by the Bowling Green Daily News and WBKO a former HillTopper swim member who no longer attends WKU filed charges to the Bowling Green Police Department accusing members of the Swim Team of forcing the freshman team member to consume alcohol and numerous other activities. Along with incidents of hazing the Title IX violations include distributing and sharing photos of passed out nude coeds. While all of these are accusations the school decided this was something that had to be acted upon and acted upon swiftly. Along with the suspension of the program for the next five years, the three person staff will be terminated effective June 30th. The termination of the coaches comes on the heels of additional rumblings that coaches knew of the alleged hazing and photos as far back as 2012.
The WKU swim team is one of the more highly decorated programs on campus. The mens team had just returned with a Conference USA Championship and the women weren’t far behind in second place. AD Todd Stuart said that “While many in the program have represented WKU with distinction, the overall findings of a consistent pattern of disappointing conduct is troubling and not acceptable at WKU.” President Ransdell echoed those sentiments as well, “We have high standards for student conduct and conduct of our student organizations…The pervasive culture of misconduct in the swimming and diving program is intolerable. A five-year suspension is both necessary and prudent.”
These accusations are severe, how ever at this moment they are only accusations. The Bowling Green Police Department has not filed charges against any current or former swim team members.