Hazing News

Western Kentucky swimmers under police investigation after ousting of squad, coaches

Here is a Washington Post excerpt

In the report, BGPD officials obtained a search warrant for 1303 Chestnut Street, the address of where the hazing was reported to occur. Two beer kegs, two marijuana grinders, two marijuana pipes, one pill bottle with marijuana stems and five picture boards full of various photographs were among the items seized during the search.

According to the report, Huda Melky, director and Title IX Coordinator, met with BGPD in late February to view the picture boards. The picture boards were a photo collage of what appeared to be various students that were highly intoxicated to the point of vomiting and passing out. Some of the photographs depicted intoxicated individuals that were nude or partially nude placing their buttocks on other individuals. The photographs also showed females passed out in various positions, one of which a female is passed out in the bathroom with her underwear pulled down.

The school’s Title IX office then issued its own report on the incident, again per the Herald:

In documents obtained by the Herald, the summary judgment completed by Title IX coordinator Huda Melky and Title IX deputy Joshua Hayes said individual members of the team were pressured to drink underage, subjected to calisthenics … and endured mental abuse brought around by “taping and replaying embarrassing or compromising activity in order to subject the individual to ridicule.”

“The resulting hostile environment was created not only at ‘the party house’, but within the team itself,” the ruling said. “This culture of unruly conduct also led to an environment conducive of individuals being incapacitated due to excessive consumption of alcohol, underage drinking, and at least a high probability that alcohol was offered to and accepted by high school recruits.”

According to the Title IX report, Coach Bruce Marchionda had been aware of the incidents since spring 2012, “based on an email he received from a former swimmer,” the Herald writes.

On Tuesday, the school announced that the positions of Marchionda, associate head coach Brian Thomas and head diving coach Chelsea Ale will be eliminated June 30.


By Hank Nuwer

Hank Nuwer is the Indiana-based author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His new book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press.

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