Princeton Men’s Swimming and Diving Season Suspended

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The Princeton men’s swimming and diving team has been informed by Ford Family Director of Athletics Mollie Marcoux Samaan and head coach Rob Orr that its season has been suspended pending a decision about the remainder of the team’s schedule.

The decision to suspend the season was made after a complaint earlier this week alerted the University to several materials, including content on the University-sponsored men’s swimming and diving team listserv, that was vulgar and offensive, as well as misogynistic and racist in nature.

“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.

“After reviewing the situation with Coach Orr, we have decided to suspend the season, and all associated team activities, effective immediately,” Samaan added. “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.”

The team is currently scheduled for two remaining meets (versus Navy on January 7 and versus Harvard and Yale on February 5), along with the Ivy League Championships on February 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 (Sexual Harassment/Assault Advising Resources and Education) to provide educational and training programs for our students and our staff.

“One program developed by SHARE in conjunction with my office is SCORRE (Strength in Coaching on Relationships, Respect and Equality),” she added. “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.”

Press release courtesy of Princeton Athletics. Read more here.

15 Comments

15 comments

  1. avatar
    Bill V.

    Whoa!
    Much respect for Coach Orr.

  2. avatar
    barryA

    Cut them all, better to start over.

  3. avatar
    Leander

    These swimmers ought to contact the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education immediately so the Princeton AD, the cowardly swim coach who is cooperating with her and the rest of the university can all get a summons and complaint for Christmas.

    • avatar
      Bill

      Agreed. Why isn’t the coach at the very least trying to defend his swimmers who didnt participate in the listerv?

      No respect for Mr. Orr

      • avatar
        Old School

        You clearly don’t know Coach Orr

    • avatar
      Dole

      Expecting good behavior of humans isn’t whining, it’s just teaching them social responsibility. I would imagine that those groups of people who are almost always the target of this kind of abusive behavior appreciate the teachable moment these students are getting.

    • Lisa Byerley Watters

      Vulgar, offensive, racist, and misogynisitc were the words used to describe the emails and you think that whiners are causing an issue? I have twin high school senior daughters that have been recruited for many coed swim teams and this is not the description for a male team we would find alluring, endearing, or even acceptable! When people can be openly vulgar, what happens behind closed doors would likely be worse. Doubt you have a daughter!
      Of course, there should be an attempt to isolate those at fault!

  4. Elena McCleary Pomroy

    Nothing makes me more mad than when everyone gets punished for the behavior of some. Anything electronic has a trail. Find out who is the culprit and punish them, not all the men that have worked hard all their lives to get to this point in their swimming career!

    • avatar
      Leander

      But punishing groups is standard totalitarian operating procedure even if it is incredibly un-American. So, that’s the path the college administrators always take.

  5. Noria Gaier

    Great decision from the coaches! Bullies always find a way to go out … In that case they will have to face their acts in front of all their teammates! ????????

  6. avatar
    Dole

    If it’s a listserv that the whole team had access to, then the rest are being punished for being witness to bad behavior and not bothering to report it.

  7. Bob Baker

    ? No participation trophy ?

  8. Susan L. Lansbury

    but our president-elect CAN do all those things without penalty…?!?!

    • avatar
      Rj

      Bahaha. You strike me as the type of person who received A LOT of participation trophies growing up!!

Author: David Rieder

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David Rieder is a staff writer for Swimming World. He has contributed to the magazine and website since 2009, and he has covered the NCAA Championships, U.S. Nationals, Olympic Trials as well as the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and the 2017 World Championships in Budapest. He is a native of Charleston, S.C., and a 2016 graduate of Duke University.

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