Brown University swim team barred from Ivy League meet
Feb. 22, 2018
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Brown University has barred its men's swimming and diving team from participating in this week's Ivy League Championships as it investigates allegations of hazing.
The university said in a statement its investigation and the student conduct review process are expected to be completed "in the coming weeks." It began looking into the team's conduct in November after an investigation by The Brown Daily Herald student newspaper found that team members engaged in a night of drinking and vandalism on Oct. 7.
The Herald reviewed text messages, photos and recordings of conversations among team members, who described it as a night of "initiation" or "hazing."
The newspaper found that multiple first-year members of the team vomited that night and team members vandalized a statue of the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius seated atop a horse by climbing on it and smashing Smirnoff Ice vodka bottles against it.
A swimming and diving captain described it on an audio recording as a tradition of "smashing the 'Ices' against the statues."
A photo viewed by the newspaper's staff showed new team members stripped down to their underwear or swimsuits and photographed in front of the university's Van Wickle Gates on campus. Another photo showed one team member with the name "Oedipus" written on his bare back, along with the drawing of a penis. Oedipus is a mythological king who killed his father and married his mother.
At team meetings in October and November, captains were captured on audio recordings telling team members to deny any hazing if they were asked about it, and to deny even meeting to talk about the investigation.
"There's things that are out there that could be damaging, it's just about how we spin it right now," one captain was recorded saying in a Nov. 14 meeting.
Student athletes must commit in writing to following Brown's hazing policy, and attend an NCAA compliance meeting with their team, the school said. Athletes who violate Ivy League or NCAA regulations are subject to sanctions.
The Ivy League meet began Wednesday and runs through Saturday.