WKU probes into Title IX violations by Swim Team

Herald staff

Members of the WKU Swim Team are currently undergoing a Title IX investigation, according to university officials.  

The original hazing allegation filed against members of the WKU Swimming and Diving team is still under investigation by the Bowling Green Police Department.

Collin Craig, a former student and swim team member, filed the hazing allegation in January of this year. Craig, from Meadow Vista, California, alleges that members of the swim team forced him to drink alcohol, assaulted him and hazed him multiple times throughout last semester, according to police reports. The incidents reportedly took place off-campus.

At the time of publication on Wednesday, Ronnie Ward, public information officer for BGPD, said the case had just opened up for an information request. The Herald is pursuing the records and will follow with up reporting on WKUHerald.com as soon as those documents are received. FOIA law requires that the documents must be made public within three business days after the filing.

On Monday, the Herald contacted Whitney Tarpy, the assistant director of Athletic Media Relations, regarding the punishment. Tarpy declined to comment on the grounds of an ongoing Title IX investigation.

The Herald also requested records of documents “related to the judiciary findings of Western Kentucky University regarding the hazing report of the WKU Swimming and Diving Team” on Monday. The request was denied on the basis of an ongoing investigation. 

On Tuesday, the Herald requested records of “any and all electronic correspondence” between Todd Stewart, athletic director, and Bruce Marchionda, head coach of WKU’s Swim and Diving Team, between the dates of March 9 and March 30 containing the terms “facilities,” “practice,” “swim,” “barred,” “suspended,” “hazing,” “punishment,” “men’s” or “banned.” The request was denied on the basis of an ongoing investigation. 

The Herald received tips that the men’s swim team was recently punished. In response, the Herald requested any records of any administrative punishments on WKU’s swim teams within the last two years on Tuesday. The Herald received a response that no administrative punishments have been administered within the last two years from Stewart. 

On Wednesday, the Herald contacted Marchionda via phone to confirm if there were any truths to the tips. Marchionda said the tips were not true. 

Marchionda echoed the statement that the investigation was ongoing.  

“The university is investigating and we’ll find out what they find out when they finish,” he said.

 Huda Melky, director and Title IX Coordinator, is on vacation and was unavailable for comment.