CHARLESTON — Eastern Illinois University is suspending all competition for the men’s swimming team in the interim while an investigation is underway on hazing allegations.
EIU Athletics is investigating “credible” hazing reports presented to head coach Johnathan Jordan. The athletic department is cooperating with the Office of the Dean of Students in this investigation.
EIU Athletic Director Tom Michael declined to comment on the investigation. Inquiries were referred to Austin Hill, the University’s attorney.
The university’s public information officer, Josh Reinhart, would not answer questions regarding the length or beginning date of the investigation.
Hazing activities are illegal in the state of Illinois per the Hazing Act. The practice of hazing can lead to legal consequences.
If convicted of charges related to violating the Hazing Act, it is a Class A misdemeanor. The only exception is when hazing results in great bodily harm or death — which would be classified as a Class 4 felony.
Final decisions regarding future competitions and roster eligibility will be subject to evaluation once the investigation concludes.
The men’s season was initially set for October 6 in Normal as the Panthers were to face off in competition against Illinois State. It’s also unknown if any swim meets during the investigation will be rescheduled or outright cancelled.
Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network, wrestling editor and contributing writer for Ambush Sports, a contributing writer for My Sports Vote and Midwest Sports Network, and a former contributor to Bleacher Report and Overtime Heroics. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dog Buster.