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Boston College suspends swimming and diving program for hazing

By Ben Morse and Jacob Lev, CNN

(CNN) — Boston College has suspended the men’s and women’s swimming and diving program indefinitely for hazing, the school announced on Wednesday.

According to the school, university administrators determined hazing had taken place within the program and “consistent with University policy, the matter will be investigated by the Office of the Dean of Students and adjudicated fairly and impartially through the student conduct process.”

The Boston College Eagles were scheduled to open up the season on October 7 against George Washington University.

“The University does not — and will not — tolerate hazing in any form. During the suspension, all Swimming and Diving student-athletes will continue to have access to academic and medical resources provided to all Boston College student-athletes,” the school added.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) defines hazing as “any act committed against someone joining or becoming a member or maintaining membership in any organization that is humiliating, intimidating or demeaning, or endangers the health and safety of the person.

“Hazing includes active or passive participation in such acts and occurs regardless of the willingness to participate in the activities. Hazing creates an environment/climate in which dignity and respect are absent.”

Both the men’s and women’s teams finished last out of 12 teams in the 2023 Atlantic Coast Conference championships.

The suspension comes amid a crackdown across college sports on hazing.

In July, Northwestern University fired the head coach of its football program, Pat Fitzgerald, after allegations of hazing surfaced, for which the university faces several lawsuits.

An independent investigation commissioned by Northwestern prior to Fitzgerald’s firing found evidence of ongoing hazing that included “forced participation, nudity and sexualized acts of a degrading nature,” university president Michael Schill said in a July letter.

Though the investigation found no “credible evidence” Fitzgerald was aware of the alleged hazing, the head coach is ultimately responsible for the team’s culture, Schill said. Fitzgerald has denied any knowledge of hazing in the program.

In August, Northwestern announced former US Attorney General Loretta Lynch would lead an independent review of athletics department culture and accountability mechanisms in the wake of hazing lawsuits.

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