CHARLESTON — Recent revelations are emerging in an ongoing investigation of the Eastern Illinois University men’s swim team. On Tuesday, the University determined that the Panther men’s swim team was in violation of its hazing policy.
Disciplinary actions for student-athletes involved in the investigation are considered confidential. Eastern Illinois representatives alluded to the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act and did not comment further.
Coach Jonathan Jordan made the initial report. After fully cooperating with the investigation, EIU officials would confirm that Jordan had no prior knowledge of hazing. Jordan is currently in his second season with the Panthers.
The investigation documents that freshmen student-athletes “were compelled to participate in activities that were characterized as student-led team ‘traditions’.” These would include underclassmen swimmers to create PowerPoint presentations on topics that were “manifestly inappropriate, harmful, and distasteful,” according to the investigation. Some of these topics were sexual in nature.
The investigation further reveals that some freshmen swimmers were given derogatory nicknames. In addition, upperclassmen swimmers created a culture of “promoting excessive and underage alcohol consumption requiring a recent medical intervention for a first-year student-athlete.”
The Panthers men’s team will continue training and cooperating with the investigation with oversight from the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. The season will resume in January.
As a condition of the investigation, the team is required to participate in anti-hazing and alcohol abuse workshops before their competition resumes. If it is not complete by January, then the season will be suspended further.
All other Panther athletic teams will also participate in similar trainings throughout the remainder of the 2023-24 academic year.
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.