COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. (CBS) — A former member of the swim team believes Ursinus College overreached with its punishment after the school canceled the rest of the season for both the men’s and women’s swim teams for reportedly violating the anti-hazing policy and student code of conduct. The college characterized the situation as hazing, involving alcohol and underage drinking.
A college spokesperson says the hazing allegations began in September following the report of an incident that occurred the last day of August.
“The college’s decision to cancel the season was the result of a fair and thoughtful internal investigation conducted in accordance with the college’s policies,” the college said.
The Collegeville campus was buzzing about the suspension of both the men and women’s swimming programs for the remainder of the season.
Mark Feinberg, the men’s coach, has been placed on probation.
They’ve only had five swim meets but were already off to a very successful season.
A statement released by the college on Friday said both teams had violated the college’s anti-hazing policy and the student code of conduct.
Sources say it’s believed to be a pattern of incidents that started back in September.
The college claims a thorough investigation was launched at that time. It’s not clear what happened over the two months between now and then.
Collegeville police say they were never called about any incident.
Senior Dan Powell, a former member of the team, accused the college of overreaching with its punishment.
“It felt like a lot of pieces that came to conclusions. I feel like it was a power move that we don’t tolerate that thing here and it came down way too hard on kids who genuinely feel didn’t deserve it,” Powell said.
Powell claimed none of this made sense, knowing the culture of the swim program and socializing on campus.
“When it came to the party scene, it was always make sure you’re comfortable and talking to people, make sure you know someone there you’re comfortable being with,” Powell said.
Powell added it “seemed like a very closed investigation.”
“I think there should have been more a trial of their peers,” he said.
CBS3 reached out to Feinberg for comment but never heard back.
The Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office says it’s policy not to confirm the existence of an investigation.