The swimming world is buzzing over the immediate five-year suspension of Western Kentucky University’s swimming and diving teams – and the termination of three coaches, effective June 30.

The announcement came April 14 after investigations into allegations by several former swimmers, who said the team subjected them to hazing and the coaching staff knew about it, but did nothing to stop it. The charges had led the university’s Title IX coordinator and the local police to investigate, and evidence of other misconduct was uncovered, according to the Courier-Journal of Louisville, Ky.

The Bowling Green Police obtained a search warrant for a residence near the campus, which had a reputation as a party house. They confiscated electronic devices, beer kegs, drug paraphernalia and photos of students who appeared to be intoxicated or passed out and in various stages of undress.

The aquatic teams have distinguished themselves in competitions over the years, with the WKU men’s team winning back-to-back Conference USA titles and the women finishing second this year – and racking up nine conference championships in 17 years.

But there’s no getting around the damage that has been done to the program.

WKU President Gary Ransdell told the Courier-Journal that the program has a “culture of misconduct” that is intolerable. He called the suspension “both necessary and prudent.” Read More