Middlebury, VT , March 19th, 2011
Just a week prior to the NCAA Championships, Middlebury College has suspended its women's team for a hazing incident. The incident occurred at a swim team party held February 2nd. In a statement provided to media upon request, Dean Shirley Collado said, ""The violations took place during activities involving both teams on Feb. 2…As of Feb. 7, the college's Department of Public Safety had interviewed more than 30 students. On Feb. 8, college administrators determined that the women's swim team, with the exception of the first-year students, will not compete for the remainder of the season. Both the men's and women's teams will be on probation next year. Middlebury College has a zero tolerance policy for hazing and harassment, and takes all possible conduct violations very seriously."
News of the incident was widely known among NESCAC coaches and swimmers, and first reported by the Bowdoin College student newspaper. The entire women's team, excluding the freshmen victims, was suspended for the remainder of theseason while both men's and womens' teams were placed on probation for the 2011-12 season.
Middlebury maintains a 'zero-tollerance' policy with regard to hazing and Director of Athletics Erin Quinn told the Middlebury Campus, Middlebury's school newspaper that, “You show up, make the team, work hard, and there is no place for initiations."
Zero-tolerance or not, this is at least the third time the Vermont school has punished the swimming team for similar incidents in the past five years. Those incidents resulted in the call-up of alternates to the NCAA Championships. This will not occur this season as no women's Middlebury swimmers were selected for the meet and only one, Alexandra Edel, achieved individual cuts.