Princeton men’s swimming and diving, which won Ivy League championships in 2015 and 2016, will not defend its title at the league meet later this month. The Department of Athletics canceled the remainder of its season Dec. 22 due to “highly inappropriate, vulgar, explicit, and degrading behavior” on a University-sponsored listserv and in other materials, according to Athletic Director Mollie Marcoux Samaan ’91.
Samaan wrote in a statement to PAW, “We believe that the team as a whole, regardless of the specific level of individual participation in the objectionable behavior, must be held accountable for their actions (or inaction in not proactively stopping the team’s behavior and traditions).” The University was reviewing the materials to determine whether there will be individual disciplinary action for violations of the code of conduct outlined in Rights, Rules, Responsibilities.
The team returned to training in early January, and Samaan said its members have “embraced” a series of meetings and sessions “to help facilitate the rebuilding of a positive and respectful team culture.” Facilitators for those sessions include student-services and health-services professionals at the University, as well as coaches and athletics administrators. The team also has agreed to review its traditions and eliminate those that are “harmful or divisive.”
Varsity athletes and coaches currently take part in collaborative educational programs such as SCORRE (Strength in Coaching on Relationships, Respect, and Equality), which promotes healthy interpersonal relationships and covers topics of respect, language, and consent; and SAWLs (Student-Athlete Wellness Leaders), which trains peer helpers selected by the members of each team. Samaan said the department is forming an internal task force to explore other educational opportunities and resources for varsity and club teams and other campus groups.