In a meeting with the men’s swim and dive team Thursday afternoon, Director of Athletics Mollie Marcoux Samaan and head coach Rob Orr announced that the team has been suspended for the season.
The decision comes after a complaint filed earlier this week revealed content on the University-sponsored men’s swimming and diving team listserv. These contents were vulgar and offensive, as well as misogynistic and racist in nature, according to the University release.
University Spokesperson John Cramer stated during an interview with the ‘Prince’ that he cannot divulge any information regarding the nature of those emails due to privacy concerns for those involved and respect for “members of the women’s swimming and diving team.”
He could not confirm or deny whether members of the women’s swimming and diving team were the subject of the anonymously reported emails.
However, Cramer noted that immediately subsequent to the meeting with the men’s team, Samaan and coaches of the women’s team addressed members of the women’s team. Cramer cannot describe the specifics of that meeting.
In a statement, University President Christopher Eisgruber said that he is deeply disappointed by the behavior of the men’s swim team.
“I strongly support the decision of our athletic director, Mollie Marcoux Samaan, to suspend a team that has failed to respect the values of this University and the dignity of other students,” he wrote.
He further noted that the principal goal of the athletic program is to support the educational mission of this University.
“I have asked the athletic department to redouble its efforts to ensure that our teams conduct themselves with the character and ethics that we expect from students representing Princeton University in athletic competition,” he continued.
In March of 2015, several members of the swim and dive team were involved in the controversy over the performing group Urban Congo, who sparked a campus wide social media storm when a video of them with painted faces and loincloths surfaced on Youtube. The group had since been disbanded subsequent to widespread criticisms of cultural and racial insensitivity.
Earlier this year, the Harvard men’s soccer team was suspended for using misogynistic language in describing its counterparts on the women’s team. Cramer declined to draw parallels between the two incidents.
More to come…