Towson Tigers Planning Peaceful Boycott of Pittsburgh Dual Meet

Updated Nov. 17 with Towson response.

Swimming World has learned that members of the Towson Tiger squad intend to boycott this weekend’s dual meet against Pittsburgh in protest of the lack of information coming out from Towson’s athletics department regarding a video-recording device being found in the women’s swimming and diving locker room at Towson.

According to several members of the Towson Tigers, a large majority of the team is slated to peacefully boycott the dual meet this weekend unless Towson University comes clean with more information from the two investigations currently ongoing regarding the recording.

According to members of the team, the administration has met with the team at least four times, and no new information has been given other than that both a Title IX and a police department investigation are currently ongoing.

The athletics director has not attended the past three meetings, and the administration has ignored requests from the team to name an interim head coach until the end of the investigation.

Currently, two of the four coaches on the staff have been placed on administrative leave pending the end of the investigation as head diving coach Maureen Mead and assistant coach Adrienne Phillips are not on deck. That leaves head coach Pat Mead and first-year assistant Jake Shrum as the only coaches currently on deck.

Swimming World’s sources state that the team has lost trust in the administration handling this investigation, and wanted to make sure that something was done publicly about it.

No reportable information has yet been divulged about exactly what happened with the video-recording, especially since the official investigations are ongoing.  The speculation surrounding the incident, however, is growing with no new information coming out from Towson.

Towson University responded to this story the day following the initial report.

The university has nothing to “come clean” with, we are conducting a thorough investigation and taking action based on the information available.  The team’s well-being continues to be our priority, and that’s why we have continued to meet with the team to keep them informed and hear their concerns every step of the way. We understand how frustrated they are with the length of the process, and we are doing all we can to keep it moving as swiftly as possible. – Towson University spokesperson Marina Cooper

80 Comments

80 comments

  1. avatar

    Good for the team. They need to stand up for themselves. If I were them I wouldn’t want to represent that administration either.

  2. avatar
    Anonymous

    I am appalled that the University has allowed for Pat Mead, Maureens husband, to stay on deck with these kids. I can’t imagine how violating and uncomfortable that is for them. It is also mind boggling to me that this teams needs to perform a protest in order to receive some attention from the administration. My prayers go out for these kids and I hope they will recover from this.

  3. avatar
    Swim

    It is truly amazing to me that Pat Mead is still allowed on deck after many indications of inappropriate relations with members of the women’s swim team for many many years. The whole staff needs to be replaced so these kids can enjoy success from all of their hard work.

  4. avatar
    Anonymous

    I too am appalled at the lack of information and the handling of this situation. The University has also given the school newspaper the run around by responding to the paper’s Freedom of Information Act request for e-mails pertaining to the situation by charging a fee in excess of $2,000 – they have since waived the fee after a scathing editorial, however as of tonight, they still haven’t gotten any information. http://thetowerlight.com/the-towerlights-public-information-saga/ This source also did not report on the suspensions. How both women coaches could be suspended without any action against the head coach baffles the mind, especially since anyone with any interaction with the team knows that nothing happens without the head coach’s approval. I applaud Towson University’s Swimmers and Divers for standing up for themselves and can only hope that justice prevails.

  5. avatar

    Funny how this gets brushed under the rug only weeks after another incident involving a swimmer and the assistant coach Adrienne Phillips got completely brushed under the rug by athletic director Tim Leonard. A text was sent to a female swimmer calling her a “fattie”. My daughter told me her friend went to several administrators and they told her they didn’t want to hear about it. Appalling.

    • avatar
      Past Swimmer

      I believe that Adrienne should have been fired after that unfortunately she gets inside information from someone in Compliance so they were able to keep it quiet

  6. avatar
    Swimmer Parent

    In response to Concerned Mother, I am appalled to hear that something like this occurred YET AGAIN under the noses of the Athletic Department. It seems like sweeping issues under the rug is Towson’s go to move for handling situations. Sad. Two years ago there was an investigation that looked into the program after SEVEN female athletes quit the team on the same day and of course, nothing came of the investigation. It’s scary to know that so much has gone on on that team and nothing has happened as a result. It seems like the athletes have been trying to get help and their own university is failing them time and time again. It’s heartbreaking to see college athletes be verbally and emotionally abused. These athletes have been mentally abused and my heart goes out for them. I am proud of the athletes that want to protest and I sincerely hope that something comes out of this whole ordeal and that those responsible will be reprimanded. Both the past and present Towson swimmers and divers deserve closure and peace of mind. More athletes have suffered than you realize.

  7. avatar
    Anonymous

    It saddens me the student athletes are boycotting a meet over the fact that the investigation has not wrapped up as quickly as they would like it. I feel awful for those involved, but I wish they would be more understanding of the time it takes for investigations like these to be finished properly.

    • avatar
      Anon

      I do not think you’re grasping the purpose of the protest. I can not speak for the team myself, but after reading this article it is seems as if the team is not only upset with the delayed investigation, they’re upset with the way that the Athletic Department is handling the situation. The team is being coached by the husband of a coach who is currently on admin leave… that seems uncomfortable, don’t you think? I’m sure they understand that police investigations take time however it seems as if they are having a hard time dealing with the fact that their university is not taking in account their well-being and safety…. but that’s simply my perception.

      • avatar
        Anonymous

        There are rules and regulations the school has to follow to even remove a coach from deck. Pat being married to Maureen is not enough for them to remove him from deck. They have to find some sort of evidence that shows pat is involved one way or another.

      • avatar
        Swimmer

        Pat Mead just got put on indefinite leave! So by boycotting they are just trying to get another coach in

    • avatar
      Anonymous

      The team was informed in meetings with the administration that the police investigation did not have to be completed for them to make a decision regarding the coaching staff. One would think that when a coaches phone is found recording video in a locker room that they would be punished with more than an administrative leave.

    • avatar
      annoyed

      Let’s be perfectly clear that nothing goes on in the swim program that isn’t first approved by the Head Coach Pat Mead. Pat Mead should have been removed from his coaching position a long time ago. For the new recruits that were planning on swimming at Towson feel blessed that you won’t have to endure the emotional abuse the coaching staff gives to swimmers to motivate them to be their best. Its just sad that the AD continues to turn the blind eye and overlook the many cases that have been brought before the department. For what, CAA Champion. I think all current and past swimmers are worth more than the price of stating Towson as CAA Champions under the “leadership – if you call that leadership” Pat Mead. Really? you value a trophy that will be forgotten than the girls that came honestly to a program they thought had integrity.

  8. avatar
    Towson mom

    As a parent of a swimmer I just want to be able to see my child swim. They love their team and are sacrificing a lot boycotting this meet..please from all us parents, let’s do the right thing by these kids and give them answers.

  9. avatar

    Put yourself in their position. Could you swim and dive for this school after this? Why should they represent this university and their athletics in a positive light when they administration is treating them so poorly?

    • avatar
      Swimmer

      Yes I could, because I would not allow the mistakes of another person, especially my coach, impact my own success or my teams success.

  10. avatar
    Anonymous

    The Towson Swim & Dive team is such a great group of talented young adults who want to swim, train hard and win the 2016 Conference Championship for Towson University. These athletes take pride in their school, their swim program and are willing to make the sacrifices, commitment and put the hard work into being a success. All the team is asking for is coaching and administrative support. Thank goodness the team has a trainer and one consistent coach, Coach Jake Shurm, who attends every practice and is committed to training these athletes.
    These athletes are willing to wake up at 5:00am, do double workouts, train during regular school breaks and sacrifice the luxuries that most college students have; all to represent Towson University. The Towson Swim and Dive Team wants to win the 2016 CAA Conference Championship. Don’t you think the teams drive and desire justifies the AD and school administration to hire or at least look for an interim head coach? Coach Jake is a great coach, but one coach cannot be expected to do the work of four coaches, and what kind of message is the head coach, Towson AD, and administration sending to this hardworking and desiring team? If the school doesn’t know what is to come of the head coach, the dive coach or the other assistant coach, then so be it. At least bring in an experienced interim coach who is willing to help Coach Jake train these hard working athletes so they can succeed and accomplish the mission they all have; to make Towson University shine.

  11. avatar
    Anonymous

    As I watch this story continue to unfold I am saddened by what these swimmers must be going through that they feel that the only way they can get answers is to refuse to swim. The swimmers that have stuck with this program must be true competitors so to not compete and risk their season is huge. I hope they are able to protest without retaliation. I also feel sad for the recruits that committed to Towson for the 2016/17 season. The emotions associated with looking for and finding the right school with the right swim program are extreme and to have what you thought was a well thought out, informed decision turn upside down so fast has to be very discouraging. Based on the comments of those speaking out it sounds like there have been issues here for a long time. It doesn’t take much investigation to see who announced their commitment to Towson’s program at collegeswimming.com and compare it to the actual rosters to see how many swimmers actually stay in the program. I have to say I am not surprised however by the lack of response from the Towson Athletic Department. They certainly didn’t handle the discontinuation of the Soccer and Baseball Teams a few years ago very well, clearly they haven’t learned anything from that experience.

  12. avatar
    Swimmer Girl

    Jake Shrum does not deserve any punishment. I know him personally and he taught me everything I know about swimming. He is honest, kindhearted, and ethical. I know he is not currently in trouble but if anyone tries to remove him from his position because of this situation then they are in the wrong.

  13. avatar
    Concerned Mom

    We are so proud of the divers and swimmers for not taking anymore of this from Towson University and the administration. They are not the victims, and, after listening to my daughter go through such a roller coaster of emotions since this happened, that is exactly how they are being treated. It is taking it’s toll on the team and as a parent it is sad that they are being let down by a school that was supposed to support them.

  14. avatar
    Disappointed

    Unfortunately, many of the comments I read here seem very shortsighted. This boycott is the result of a highly emotional group that lacks cohesion and leadership. The “leaders” of this group are upperclassmen who believe they should be in control now, and are pressuring others to do their bidding. Their tactics are shameful, and have nothing to do with wanting to bring the team together at all. Some of the younger athletes are contemplating transfers, and in order to find the best situation away from Towson they must continue training and competing. Not attending the upcoming meet will hurt their chances moving forward, as there is a long course component to the meet and championship time standards could be at stake. The swimmers and divers who want to go to the meet, should feel free to do so without harassment from those who don’t, and right now that is not the case. All of the accusations being flung around here just make a bad situation worse, and certainly divide this group of athletes further. As for me, I’d like to see Towson Athletics come in and neutralize this group of upperclassmen, who are using their seniority and this situation to try and control the others. Some of the behaviors being attributed to the coaches in these comments are actually being displayed by these individuals, and it has created an extremely unhealthy environment. Their immature actions can have serious consequences, and none of these athletes is above the law or the student code of conduct. Whatever happens with the coaches and whatever happens as this situation continues to unfold, each of these athletes deserves to study, train, compete and live without judgement and/or persecution from anyone, especially members of their own team.

    • avatar
      Anon

      I noticed that you stated that the upperclassmen are behaving in the same manner that was used to describe the coaches behavior… Hmmm… The upperclassmen have been influenced by their coaches don’t you think? Aren’t coaches role models… etc.? Wouldn’t it be fair to say if these women have been coached in a way that emphasizes negativity and manipulation that their behavior might in turn reflect that? The upperclassmen have been through a lot… it is not fair to throw them under the bus just because you may have an unclear understanding as to what actually goes on on the team.

    • avatar
      Anonymous

      First, the long course component only has a meaning to a couple people on the team, all of which are upperclassmen. Second, how will competing for Towson help move this program forward when Towson is trying to dick these athletes over. By going to the meet, you are stating that you are okay with what the athletic department is trying to do as well as being extremely selfish

      • avatar
        Anonymous

        Actually, by swimming those athletes are saying, “we understand that their are processes involved and that skipping a meet will not speed them up.” These athletes that are choosing to compete understand the larger picture and for that I applaud them.

      • avatar
        Anonymous

        By going to the meet, they are stating that they are okay with the athletic department trying to sweep this whole situation under the rug, not that they understand that investigations take time. They send people who don’t know anything related to the investigation to the meetings with the swimmers and when they ask for people who could give them possible answers, the department does not send them.

    • avatar
      anonymous

      you have been extremely misinformed. Any member of the team who wants to compete is more than welcome to do so. There is no harassment going on at any level and i think you should be very cautious when throwing that word around. The members of the team who are trying to do something to get answers for the whole team are not being immature. There are always going to be other opportunities to compete, and this meet is no different unless these swimmers you speak of are in the running to get an olympic trials cut. If you did your research you would know that there is another meet at the begging of december that the swimmers can go to and race long course. This team and its wellbeing are all the upperclassmen care about and I sincerely wish that you could see that.

      • avatar
        Anonymous

        If you did your research you would know that Towson will not be going to the winter national meet. And if you knew anything you would know that there is intimidation, harassment, and bullying coming from members on this team. So please don’t make comments on something you know nothing about.

      • avatar
        Anonymous

        Woooooow you’re wrong again, I’m not referring to winter nationals. And I assure you that as a member of the team I know pretty much everything about this. So thank you but i will continue to defend my teammates.

    • avatar
      former TU swim parent

      I agree that all of this puts the newest swimmers in the worst position because it is greatly impacting their ability to do what they were promised they would be able to do as a member of the Towson Swimming and Diving Team. Perhaps the issue isn’t with the upperclassmen, who have more firsthand knowledge of the coaching staff’s abusive tactics, but with the coaching staff itself.
      Their abusive behaviors have been going on for years and has cost many athletes their college swimming careers and beyond.
      There were never any checks and balances with this husband/wife coaching staff, and I commend the swimmers for finally taking a stand. They shouldn’t have to step aside and keep silent, once again, as has been the case for many years. Pat Mead and his wife need to be the ones to step aside NOW. I feel bad for Adrienne, who like many others before her, had to either conform to their poor coaching tactics or face losing her job.
      Nothing happens in that program without Pat Mead’s knowledge, as he always prided himself on reminding the swimmers, and he needs to do the right thing and step down now, so that the swimmers can get on with their careers. There are plenty of other great coaches who would love the opportunity to coach such a talented team.
      Stay strong swimmers.

  15. avatar
    Something's Rotten

    Open your refrigerator after a long vacation and you know something is rotten. But instead of searching for the stinky food you simply close the door and leave it, hoping your spouse or kids will do something about it, or you’ll just take care of it later. One by one, everyone opens the door, grabs what they need and then quickly closes the door and walks away seeking safety and fresh air. Finally, one of the kids, a young adult, not known as brave, but clearly recognizing right from wrong, takes the initiative and starts peeling open the plastic containers. After contemplating the odors of several containers, the kid finally discovers one container has popped open from the decaying food and rotten gasses. There it is. It’s a stinky fish head. Why did anyone even put it in the container and in the refrigerator? It has been there a lot longer than just the time you were on vacation… but no one looked close enough… or just kept pushing it back in the bottom shelf of the fridge to be secretly hidden and ignored — expecting someone else would eventually take care of it… or miraculously it would just get better with time. The young adult who has discovered the rotten fish was not involved in the storage or hiding. Looking a little closer, the kid realized the container was one of those cheap throwaways, not one of those containers from days of the past that would have kept the fish head safe for years. The only thing protecting the house from the stink was the refrigerator itself. But once opened after being closed for so long, the stench could not be denied. The kid then brought the stinky fish head to everyone’s attention and when confronted, everyone denied their involvement. So, frustrated, the kid decided that not only did the stinky fish head need to go in the trash, but the plastic container intended to protect the stinky fish had to go too and the refrigerator would need to be disinfected as well. Stepping up, the young adult put new rules in place that embraced common sense and respect. No more fish heads in the refrigerator, no more cheap plastic containers to protect the potentially rotten food and no more hiding plastic containers with things that stink in the back of the fridge.

    And they all lived happily ever after.

    Remain strong Towson Swimmers! Your actions will not be ignored.

    • avatar
      Anonymous

      What….?

  16. avatar
    Another Concerned Mom

    it is troubling how after 30 days there is “no reportable information” given to news outlets by TU on who the phone belonged to; who exactly was suspended pending investigation, etc. and why they were suspended. Instead, it seems that it has been left for sources to tell the news what coaches are missing. Is this a TU investigation or a cover up? Bravo to the Towerlight editor for seeking public information records in the wake of this administration silence.

  17. avatar
    Anonymous

    Freshman parent,
    I understand your feelings of anger toward the upper class-men, but your child has been on the team for 4 months and my child is going on her fourth year. How dare you say that these girls have a lack of knowledge when you know absolutely nothing about this division 1 program. Your child was not on the program long enough to experience the corruption of the program, from the athletic department and the coaching staff. If your concerned about the legality of the protesting, their have been credible adults that are guiding the older girls what to do, so your “immature” point is invalid as well. For the freshman parents, I advise you to stay out of it because if it was your child who went through 3 years of fat camp,being called worthless, and a total invasion of personal space, I think you would feel differently.

    • avatar
      Freshman Mom

      ALL of these kids have been hurt by this. Who are you to advise that the freshmen parents stay of it? My child, who is a freshman, has been completely ignored by the head coach, placed in “fat-camp” and lost over 20 pounds in two months just to then be yelled at because he/she was always tired. There has been a lot of questionable behaivors that the coaching staff either encouraged or turned a blind eye to. When my child came for the recruiting weekend last year he/she was fed a bunch of crap about how great things were, how supportive the coaching staff was etc… These freshmen gave up other opportunities to attend colleges and other teams because they were lied to by the team and coaches. Transferring at this point would require them to give up this year of competition. So please don’t assume or suggest their experience or pain is any less than anyone elses. And you are right we, (the freshmen swimmers and parents), didn’t know about THIS division 1 program but you did…the upper class-men did and yet still a new batch of freshmen were led into the frying pan. I do NOT blame the upper class-me or any of the swimmers for that matter, I blame the coaches and administration. The upper class-men over the years have been doing what they were told. Why? Well I am sure because they felt they had to, that if they didn’t do what they were told and how they were told to do it there would be consequences. All they wanted to do was swim and were afraid that would be taken away. My heart aches for ALL of these kids no matter what level. Whether a freshman, sophomore, junior or senior, the struggles are real…the pain is real. These kids ALL deserve better. My hope is that what all of these kids have had to endure and sacrifice will get noticed and make a difference.

      • avatar
        Past Swimmer

        I am sure at the time things were not as bad as they are right now. If your daughter is fast the coaches pay attention to them. It is part of life and it is good to learn that at a young age. You are also crazy to think that schools tell the complete truth on recruiting trips it is impossible despite the level D1 D2 D3. I am not sure where you are from but every body on the east coast knows about “Pat Mead” and his legacy as a coach. You daughter came to Towson because she wanted to be a winner and drop time because well at Towson that is what you do you become a winner at all cost. Nothing like this has happened before, when 7 quit the investigation was because of Title 9 and unfairness. Since none of the 7 were girls the administration thought that he was treating girls differently then guys. Girls can not handle the pressure at times that guys can. You can ask any member of the team the 7 people that quit quit for good reason not all of the quit because of Pat, some realized swimming was not as important, others were home sick, others wanted to go to conferences and be a star. Pat made them that star. I am appalled that you would think that members of the team would trick your daughter into going to Towson when you know the real reason was because it is one of if not “THE BEST MID MAJOR ” D1 swimming program around.

        As alumni I saw many people ignored for 4 years. They still put there heart and soul into the sport. If you were worried about your daughter and her transferring rights then you should have made her quit right away and gone to the NCAA and petitioned for a red shirt because of emotional instability.

      • avatar
        Swimmer

        The coaching staff at Towson is very supportive. They support winning which is what college athletics is about. College’s do not put millions of dollars into there different sports teams every your just to give these kids free clothes, books, and a chance to compete for 4 more years. They are putting this money in so that they may win and make the school look better. The people that think that abuse has been happening for years are naive. Just because a coach places you in fat camp does not make it abusive. In fact the term fat camp was made up by the swimmers at this school. It was just additional cardio instead of other dry-land options. Being ignored is not abusive either it just means that your kid is not fast enough or talented enough or work hard enough to warrant the attention of the coach in a program that until recently had a 1 coach: 35 swimmer ratio. Anyone who believes a coach should equal time with all the athletes needs to re-examine what it means to be a college athlete vs. high school athlete.
        This being said though a video tape in a lockeroom is abusive and needs to be handled not swept under the rug. The athletes obviously feel that not enough information is being shared with them, as they are the people that are affected most by this investigation. I hope that this boycotting by the team will bring about more information to be released, but I also hope the athletes realize that swimming in meets does not have to mean they support the administration. They can swim in meets to spite their administration. They can swim for the success and out respect of the team that has worked very hard to get to where it is.

      • avatar
        Freshman Mom

        Swimmer I am glad to see you support your teammates by stating that they are not fast enough or talented enough to deserve any attention from the coach, says a lot. Did you ever stop for a moment to think that maybe just maybe there were other reasons that some of them feel this way. Remember, these are swimmers that they recruited. I guess actually sitting down with a swimmer and discussing weight issues with them, practice issues or concerns is way to far under the pay grade for a coach right? The definition of coach was a person who teaches and trains athletes or performers…the last time I checked he was the coach of a “Team” not just as you say the fastest and most talented members. I guess you were one of the lucky ones to be considered fast or talented enough and I hope you never have to experience what some of these other swimmers have had to. Again, instead of trying to belittle my daughter by saying she isn’t fast enough or talented enough take the time to understand what your reading. My point was that ALL of the swimmers have had struggles and they all deserve better than what has been going on there. The deserve answers to what happened. I support ALL of the swimmers and wish them all the best.

    • avatar
      Freshman Mom

      I support each and every Towson swimmer and wish them the best moving forward in all that they do!!!

    • avatar
      Swimmer

      Freshman mom- No actually I was one of the swimmers pat never cared about and I actually have a few videos on my computer of pat calling me a moron, fat, and slow. I have stopped and thought about why swimmers feel the way your daughter and many of my teamates did, and I came to the conclusion that they either were always the star of their club or highschool team and are not used to being in the position of being told they are slow and/or not working hard enough to warrant attention or that they were not ready for how competitive D1 swimming is and the spirit it creates on a swim team. I understand your concern as a parent as my own parents had similar concerns when I would inform them of what I was going through and I had to tell them that they were being just as naive as you are. Pat’s job is a coach is not to make your daughter faster (for that join a club team or a highschool team where the coach is paid to do so), his job is to make the swim team successful. By all metrics he has succeeded in creating two very successful swim programs so in my opinion he has done his job. To be fair I was miserable my freshmen year hated everything about Pat Mead and this program, but with maturity I came to understand him. He is not a coach whom many would enjoy swimming under, and he is not a good person, he is however a good swim coach.

      • avatar
        Carla

        Swimmer, thanks for your input. I still believe that new recruits need to be made aware of what goes on on this team, and leave it up to them to make a truly informed decision. From the outside, the team looked good, there was no way for new recruits to suspect all of this from the team. Pat puts on a good pony show for recruits. The only fair thing the teammates can do is be honest about the program

    • avatar
      Carla

      So why didn’t the more senior girls on the team warn the new recruits about the team’s corruption? Why? The official visit to the school is for new recruits to figure out if it is a good swim. So why didn’t these upper class girls warn the recruits about what goes on on this team?

      • avatar
        annoyed

        THE WRATH OF PAT MEAD and the CONTROL and the SUPPORT of the University he HAD! He is an EVIL man and don’t put anything past him.

      • avatar
        Anonymous

        I really don’t think it’s fair to put blame on the older girls on the team for not ‘warning’ the recruits. I almost view it like any abusive relationship, where those that stayed and were given access to recruits were manipulated and conditioned to believe their self worth was tied up in sticking it out – how could they warn anyone without believing that they were fat, slow and worthless themselves? Breaking up with a sociopath is hard, and I would like to think that in part it was the 23 Freshmen women (> 50% of the team by the way) that helped strengthen the rest to finally join together and do something. TU was on the list for my swimmer and we were schmoozed with the best of them, but we couldn’t help but feel a bit of the crazy vibe when listening to Pat speak. When discussing pro’s and con’s the one thing that came up from my swimmer was ‘well, if I know he’s crazy going in, I should be able to handle it’ – luckily, other opportunities moved TU off the list, but the lesson learned here is don’t underestimate what the mind is able to do to protect itself. At this point, what’s done is done and as parents you should be supporting each other in what these young adults have gone through, not looking for blame.

  18. avatar
    Anonymous

    To all the parents & fans of Towson Swim & Dive,
    As an alumni of the team, I understand you have a great love for your kids and for the program, and this is upsetting. I respect that. You have ‘skin in the game’. However, no parent, fan or anyone else knows what goes on, besides the people who spent the full 4 years there. No one.
    You don’t know exactly what countless 5am practices feel like, or how you are so completely drained after 4 hours of swimming, that you fall asleep during dinner. Or that you have hair falling out of your eyebrows, and your skin feels like sand paper. We do it, and we have done it, for the love of the sport. I carry every lesson I learned on that team, with those coaches, with me every single day, at work, in life–dealing with different kinds of people and bosses. It is wonderful you want to support your kid. But, let your kid be an adult and make decisions for themselves. This is a growing experience for them, as they transition into adulthood. They don’t need to be coddled, they need to do what they believe is right. If it turns out to be wrong, so be it. They learned. If they were right, they will step forward in life with more confidence about how to get through a difficult situation.
    As for kids always running to the administration every time there is a problem: do you think in the real world you can really run to the police, or HR every time your boss says something ‘mean’ about your performance? No, you can’t. You have to figure it out on your own. I did. Most of us did.
    No one said swimming in a Division I program was going to be a cakewalk. It’s not. But you learn through every trial and tribulation, and it makes you a better person.
    As far as the investigation goes, it’s an investigation. It’s law. There is A LOT that goes on behind the scenes, and it isn’t black and white. These are people’s lives and livelihoods. Everyone needs to sit back, and allow the process to go forward. Investigations take a while, because they have to get it right. There won’t be new information, until the investigation is over. There never is. Otherwise, it compromises everything that is being worked on.
    As for our team, it will survive and thrive, somehow.

    • avatar
      Anonymous

      Yes our children need to learn to handle adversity on their own when they go to college but I think everyone is forgetting THESE GIRLS WERE VIDEOTAPED NAKED. This is not about running to the administration about nothing. How do we know whether this what not already done in the past. Have the coaches computers been confiscated? Have pictures been uploaded? What was done is a crime and should be treated as such. My children swim college but don’t loose the forest for the trees. They are in college to get an education. For most, competitive swimming ends after college. I would have pulled my daughter from the team if the head coach was still on deck while the investigation was ongoing and if swimming was that important, have her train with a year round team until he is cleared and returns or another coach found. The fact that it was his wife would make very nervous about his involvement as well

    • avatar
      annoyed

      Alumni swimmer glad that you made it through 4 years without being bullied. You must have been one of the favorite ones. And yes, swimming is one of the hardest sports if not the hardest sports but lets make it clear that NOT ALL D1 programs abuse their swimmer to the degree that Pat Mead does to get the results he wants. He uses all sorts of tactics including EMOTIONALLY abusing young 18 years into submission at the expense of mental and physical health. Don’t be blind to his tactics after the fact. And yes the business world can be cruel but you can leave and not be penalized for leaving. One of Pat’s stick (and supported by the administration)is withholding his release of the D1 swimmer which makes them unable to transfer to another D1 school and required to sit out for one year. Why hold back a swimmer that doesn’t want to swim there anymore? Again, a bully tactic to add fear to the others who may be considering leaving. Parents can’t even begin to comprehend the amount of abuse that goes on and I believe the swimmers are afraid to tell completely because they want to swim. Swimming is their love and passion as it was for you. How many swimmers in the last seven years, knowing what they had to endure, would commit to swim for Towson again? And as for parents, if you daughter wants to leave don’t make her stay for the season. Its not worth it. Your times before you committed to Towson will be looked upon by other D1 schools. There are other D1 programs out there and to be honest if you are not in one of the top D1 programs, your swimming career is going to end in 4 years anyways. Why not enjoy the sport you loved as a kid and get an education – which is really why you are at the University in the first place. Don’t let pride get in the way of letting go of something you know is in the best interest of the swimmer.

      • avatar
        Something's Rotten

        Touche’

      • avatar
        Mike

        I’m so sad my daughter spent a year of her life in that program.

  19. avatar
    Sonya McKenney

    I commend the swimmers who are trying to provide leadership. This situation continues to escalate because this team is lacking the leadership of their head coach and administration. These swimmers deserve a dedicated and engaged coach. The upperclassmen have taken an initiative and are attempting to unite and save this team. All of these swimmers are adults and they are being exposed to a very difficult situation which needs support, not division. This team has been respectful and patient with the Towson administration and the coaching staff. That same respect has not been shown to them. Each member of this team is a victim. Some more severely, but they all deserve a team that has leadership and an environment that is healthy in order to achieve their individual and team goals. Most of these swimmers have dedicated as many as 15 years to the sport of swimming. A dedication and career no athlete or parent would take for granted.

  20. avatar
    Leander

    It’s not unusual for the police to be keeping quiet, and one month is not very much time for performing an investigation involving the forensic review of electronic devices.

    While it’s mildly unusual for a college or university to be keeping quiet, that is probably a good thing if there is the potential for a subsequent criminal prosecution. Any substantive comments by Towson could only harm, rather than help, the chances of convicting anyone who committed a crime here. And saying that someone has committed a crime can open you open to civil liability if you are wrong.

    It does seems unlikely that a university would not suspend a coach if the university has reason to believe that the coach might have committed a crime against a student. One rational conclusion is that the coach is not the one under police investigation.

  21. avatar
    4 year Alumni

    I swam for Pat Mead for 4 years and graduated a Captain. I am really happy for the people who can’t believe Pat would be involved in something like this. You must have had a really great experience. I, however, can tell you that a lot of what I am reading in the comments rings true. Pat Mead is unprofessional and inappropriate to criminal levels. My senior year, after championships Pat took the seniors out for a night in Baltimore which was his tradition. He spent a fortune getting us drunk all night and took us back to Burdick Pool. It was there that he tried to have sex with me which I had to fight off alone. I was lucky. The next day I only had bruises all over me from where he held me down and tried to pry my legs open. Many people will read this and not believe it, but sadly many female swimmers will agree based on their own experiences. I’m not saying he was involved in this investigation, but I wouldn’t put it past him. I can’t imagine his limits.

    • avatar
      MD swimmer

      4 year alumni why didn’t you ever report Pat for that night? I obviously don’t know all the details but it appears that Pat could be charged for attempted rape that night.

      • avatar
        annoyed

        MD Swimmer– I don’t think it you meant your question to be insensitive but that was an insensitive comment.

      • avatar
        MD swimmer

        i didn’t mean it in an insensitive way at all, but if the man acts like many people claim he does then he needs to be punished for it or it will continue and others may suffer the same fate

      • avatar
        annoyed

        I understand but its easier said than done when you are the victim — we can’t begin to put ourselves in her shoes that night and the emotions she felt. However, you see people are now exposing the deeds that have been done in the past….they have been expressed in some form or fashion but the have been ignored by the university. and some can’t believe they are true today. All for the sake of winning.

    • avatar
      annoyed

      I believe you and I am sorry that you had to endure what you did. Thank you for sharing its not easy to share what was a nightmare for you. May you find healing and peace.

    • avatar
      Astonished

      Oh, my. That took a lot of courage to post. Best wishes to you!

    • avatar
      Former Towson Captain

      4 Year Alum,
      If this is true then please tell the authorities. You might not realize this now but we would all support you! Pat has done terrible things to a lot of people. I was a captain too and I know how vicious he can be. One of the sophomore girls hosted a party a few years ago when we were supposed to be dry and when they got caught Pat called her a $lut behind her back and said she hosted the party so she could get laid and then he kicked her off the team. Pat Mead definetly does NOT respect women! It took me such a long time to realize that. Anyone who tries to justify him is blind to the fact that he has done such bad things. Making you faster doesn’t give him the right to treat you poorly.

      • avatar
        MD swimmer

        Former Towson Captain

        I agree 100% it needs to be addressed and everyone would have the support of each other

    • avatar
      Anon

      Although this is a separate issue that needs to be addressed, Thank you for expressing this. I had a very similar experience. I’m sure many others will agree, whether they choose to speak up or not.

    • avatar
      Anon mom

      My question is why on earth didn’t you press charges after this so called night of drunkenness. This was attempted rape and you kept quiet? What hold does Pat Mead have on you girls?
      My daughter was recruited by him but thankfully said a big fat NO. Best decision she ever made, still swam at a successful D1 school and got an amazing education to boot.
      FYI – no matter how fast these girls become, no one is going to the Olympics. After your four years, you are done!
      Wake up- it’s time to clean house at Towson.
      Only hope is that the underclassmen find the strength to walk away and find a place that appreciates the whole person.
      This is so disgusting on so many levels.

  22. avatar
    Freshman Mom

    Past swimmer – maybe if you would have actually taken the time to read what I wrote you would have realized that my post was not about unfair treatment it had more to do with that the freshmen are just as important as any other swimmer on the team. My daughter took all that was thrown at her and kept going back so don’t talk to me about emotional instability. No one is worried about transferring rights as much as they are worried about the kids being able to compete. As a former swimmer I would think you would understand the commitment and sacrifice it takes to get ready for that one big meet. It was your decision to ignore what was going on around you and watch your teammates struggle but this team has decided that they no longer want to stand by and watch certain things happen and that is their right. You don’t get to decide whose struggles are justified or whose pain is real. They ALL matter! Good Luck to all the Towson swimmers!

    • avatar
      Past Swimmer

      I did not intend to belittle your daughter I was ignored as well but I swam for the love of swimming and being there for my friends. Throughout my experience I learned how to be tough and not need attention. I did not go to conferences I swam to be with my friends and because of that I support everyone. I would just hate for this program to go down and everyone leave especially when the coaches are all leaving. I don’t think that the girls lie to recruits and I felt as though you were accusing members of the team of lying to trick your daughter into going to towson. Which would never happen

  23. avatar
    Former College Swimmer

    As a former D1 college swimmer (not at Towson**) this is just sad. Why are people and parents blaming the swimmers and the team. These girls are the victums. For you to think that the upperclassmen are at fault is just childish. For you to think that the swimmers “knew” about this is crazy. And do not make assumptions and just let the investigation pan out its self. I have heard good and bad things about the program and coaches just like every other program. College sports can be a dark and mysterious thing if you have never exerpeinced them first hand, so think before you speak or judge.

  24. avatar
    Anonymous

    Out of respect for the 4 children Pat and Maureen have, let’s please keep the negative comments to a minimum. They are swimmers, and have swimmer friends who probably read this.
    Let us please, take a moment, and think before we publicly write these comments.

    • avatar
      Alumn

      I agree! An end of one era is over. But this is also a beginning to a new one. A chance for not only the swimmers to move on, but the team, university, and administration to grow. I think we should be talking about that. Be supportive of the athletes. They have a lot of opportunities ahead of them. How cool would that be if they could come back and win the conference championship in the midst of everything that has happened this year?! I think that would be pretty fricken amazing. I, for one, will not blast my personal experiences on here for the sake of gossip or dog piling on the rabbit. I want to show love and support for MY teammates. BTB!

  25. avatar
    Anonymous

    This appears to be a perfect example of where’s there’s smoke there is fire. After witnessing the behavior of the Towson swim team at the CAA meet compared to other teams on deck indicated that something was not right. jMU showed in 2012 that winning can happen in a healthy atmosphere where the swimmers work and compete just as hard, treat the teams with respect and still love and support their teammates. I don’t think those Jmu girls are any better people than the girls on Towson’s team,but the JMU coaches Beckey Benson, Dane Pederson, and Sam Smith built a championship team without pitting the girls against each other. When Towson wins the title all other teams remain on deck during the award ceremony, when JMU won all teams remained for the ceremony except one, the Towson Tigers. If you are looking for a great college swimming experience check out the parent run William and mary team, or the fun loving UNCW team, or any of the other up and coming CAA teams. Of course there will be some of Mead’s successful swimmers who will write and say that winning justifies the means and the Meads. But it can be done without those means. Now college swimming is in the past for our family but it was great while it lasted. We only glad we had to endure the Towson program 4 days per year

    • avatar
      Alumnae

      I swam for Towson in 2012…the women team did when JMU was announced but right after that walked off deck. At Towson working hard is why we win championships, we are not pitted together but like any other team in the conference choices have to be made on who goes and who doesn’t go to conferences. If you think that teams don’t do that in the conference you are mistaken. I know for fact that swimmers from UNCW, JMU, and William and Mary have people who do not go to conferences and those people are hurt and upset. Pat Mead may not be a great person but he is THE BEST COACH IN THE CAA. He knows how to push swimmers to do there best, his tactics are not great but if you buy into what he is saying you will go fast if it is your goal. I swam fast, I listened to him, but I did fight him tooth and nail my entire four years. If swimmers had a problem he would listen he would not always get it or care but he would meet with you. I am not defending Pat in any way he is getting what he deserves but don’t say that other teams are in a healthier environment then Towson. I made some of my best friends on the swim team people I will talk to for life. I was not there in 2012 but Sam Smith was crying in the locker room and would not even talk to a Towson swimmer when they went up to say good meet or good job coaching

      • avatar
        Anonymous

        We will have to agree to disagree on 2012 but pictures don’t lie. I have no doubt that the individual swimmers on Towson’s team are great kids but the the pat mead attitude permeating some members of the team. What other team jumped in the middle of other teams cheers. Just one. And why do un say he is getting what he deserves. Those individuals deserve a great experience from college swimming for all there dedication.

      • avatar
        towson swimmer

        Pat Mead is NOT the best coach in the CAA. Are you out of your mind? Sitting on the pool deck playin candy crush on an ipad instead of coaching & going to away meets & sitting at the bar all night drinkin n waking up smelling like alcohol? Being coach of the year should be about character, not about which team gets 1st. Pat Mead has the most questionable behavior out of every coach in the CAA, hands down!

      • avatar
        Past Swimmer

        Pat was not an awful coach though he knew how to taper most of the time minus 2012. He wrote decent practices I don’t think the man should ever be allowed back on Towson campus again. He should be black listed from the university and all university events. If I never have to see that man again my life will be so much better off. Knowing he won’t hurt another swimmer again well done

  26. avatar
    who do you think you are

    Let the madness end

  27. avatar
    SWIMMER ( not towson)

    Pat Mead I hope you are happy with your new life! Your created all of this for yourself

    • avatar
      SWIMMER ( not towson)

      why do you think Penn State turned you down they saw the crazy

  28. avatar
    Sad Day

    The bottom line is that for everyone who was involved in the swimming and diving program at Towson this is a very sad time.

    The parents, swimmers, divers, and alumni loved their team and put their hearts and soul into it. Pat and Maureen centered their entire lives around the swimming and diving program to the point of losing site of what was most important, the well-being of everyone involved, including themselves. The ends don’t justify the means when so many people suffer in the process.

    All of the frustration being brought out in the open now in these posts should be a lesson for the administration at Towson. These issues have been going on for almost a decade now, and apparently gradually worsened. Had there been some type of forum available at Towson where people felt their concerns could be addressed and not dismissed as being petty, perhaps this might not have happened and the coaching staff could have had the chance to either modify their behaviors or exit the program.

    Having experienced the fear of speaking up first hand, I know how difficult can be when someone else holds the key to your swimming career.

    The current members of the swim team are brave and my heart goes out to them. I hope that there is a way to make things right for you all as soon as possible.

    • avatar
      Towson mom

      Well said….

    • avatar
      annoyed

      The ADMINISTRATION knew the tactics that Pat Mead used. They are just as guilty. The moral compass was just as bad as Pat Mead. Towson University as a whole failed these girls for many, many, years.!!!! Shame on TU! You KNEW!!!!

      • avatar
        Anonymous

        It is not just the women on the team that has had to endure the mental abuse – the environment was just as toxic for the men as well.

    • avatar
      Admin knew

      @ annoyed — spot on. I complained in writing and in person to Margie Tversky 10 years ago before graduation, and after enduring my 4 years with Pat. I told her I suspected inappropriate relations with members of the women’s team, told her about the emotional and verbal abuse, and advised they look into things. I was basically told she’d need proof of any inappropriate relations…and I quote “like a used condom”. She pretended to care about my concerns, and sent me on my way. I feel terrible for every abused swimmer before and after, and feel terrible for those Pat has manipulated into supporting his actions (likely to include Mo). I hope his children are able to find peace and learn from their parents mistakes; they are victims too. Good for these swimmers for finally doing what so many that came before them should have done. And for the pro Pat camp – please stop making excuses for illegal actions. Just because you didn’t witness some of this doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Sociopaths can be good like that…until they aren’t.

Author: Jason Marsteller

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Jason Marsteller is the general manager of digital properties at Swimming World. He joined Swimming World in June 2006 as the managing editor after previous stints as a media relations professional at Indiana University, the University of Tennessee, Southern Utah University and the Utah Summer Games.

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