Middlebury Coach Resigns

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BreakingTheSurface
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Re: Middlebury Coach Resigns

Post by BreakingTheSurface » Wed Apr 27, 2011 1:42 pm

Somehow everyone is missing Mac's point. A coach with 20 years experience does not let things like this happen, he should have had his fingers on the pulse of the team, you can't stick your head in the sand and pretend it won't (or doesn't happen), and from what I read it went way beyond a "party". As the parent of a female swimmer, I am shocked that anyone would defend the athletes and their actions. An initiation in February? Come on........

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Re: Middlebury Coach Resigns

Post by polarbear » Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:41 pm

I like Pete a lot, but since he took over from Mel he has had a tough time controlling that team. People my age remember when the team booed when others broke New England records, by some standards (mine, even at 22) crossed the line on some of their cheers, and generally made it clear that the team and not the coach ruled the roost. The team has always had a hard partying, slightly over the line reputation -- deserved or not -- and I think the back story of how he ended up there may have played a part in it. Its a prime coaching position, but it definitely requires someone who will make the team toe the line.

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Re: Middlebury Coach Resigns

Post by Mac of the MIAC » Wed Apr 27, 2011 3:13 pm

The only point I need to make is that hazing is wrong. Bullying is wrong. Coaches who turn a blind eye, condone, or even participate are cowards. They should not be leading a team, especially a team of impressionable young adults. If you don't have it in you to make a stand for something that matters, something that every administration condemns, then you should not be a swim coach. You should not be a swim captain. This exact same thing happened in 2007 at Middleburry.

I'm embarrassed that Peter Soloman came on this board, expecting sympathy, and actually getting it from most of you. Quit embarrassing yourself. You've already done enough of that. Do you really need another internet page devoted to your scandal? Is ABC news not enough? Are the 10's of parents whose trust you've violated, and who will probably follow you around from job to job, emailing AD's not enough?

You failed to stand up for your swimmers last year. Start now. Admit that you were wrong. Admit that hazing is wrong. Apologize to the parents. And then wait for it to blow over. This is honest career advice that I suggest you follow.
Last edited by Mac of the MIAC on Wed Apr 27, 2011 4:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Middlebury Coach Resigns

Post by Mac of the MIAC » Wed Apr 27, 2011 3:16 pm

swimdoctor wrote:They didn't even have any drugs or alcohol, for crying out loud. I'm more with the earlier post "Hazing? Or the Best Party of the Year".
This is an outrage! You cannot even have a party without drugs and alcohol.
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Re: Middlebury Coach Resigns

Post by sagehen1 » Wed Apr 27, 2011 4:08 pm

silentp wrote:
Colbybr wrote:From the NESCAC forum, but fairly significant to D3 overall, with Middlebury a perennial top program
To be sure, it's a good program but "perennial top" is way overstating it. They've been good, with a stud or 2, but I believe have the potential to be a lot better with the right fit of a coach. I'd imagine the Wheaton MA coach will get the job.
Probably not.

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Re: Middlebury Coach Resigns

Post by Colbybr » Wed Apr 27, 2011 5:48 pm

Mac of the MIAC wrote:The only point I need to make is that hazing is wrong. Bullying is wrong. Coaches who turn a blind eye, condone, or even participate are cowards. They should not be leading a team, especially a team of impressionable young adults. If you don't have it in you to make a stand for something that matters, something that every administration condemns, then you should not be a swim coach. You should not be a swim captain. This exact same thing happened in 2007 at Middleburry.

I'm embarrassed that Peter Soloman came on this board, expecting sympathy, and actually getting it from most of you. Quit embarrassing yourself. You've already done enough of that. Do you really need another internet page devoted to your scandal? Is ABC news not enough? Are the 10's of parents whose trust you've violated, and who will probably follow you around from job to job, emailing AD's not enough?

You failed to stand up for your swimmers last year. Start now. Admit that you were wrong. Admit that hazing is wrong. Apologize to the parents. And then wait for it to blow over. This is honest career advice that I suggest you follow.
I agree with Mac on a lot of points. When I was a swimmer in the league, I did have a problem with him and its bothered me since I became a coach. I don't think that he encouraged his team to lack sportsmanship or go over the line, it just didn't seem like he stood up to them when they did it. I remember being at the women's NESCAC championships and seeing a girl from Middlebury rip Amherst's banner from the wall. Then I watched a girl from Amherst come up and confront Pete about what just happened- he just stood there and ignored her. I don't doubt that he was good at coaching and extremely positive and cared a lot about the kids he coached. But you have to be the adult and set the tone and expectations for your team.
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Re: Middlebury Coach Resigns

Post by OlderEveryday » Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:53 pm

Mac of the MIAC wrote:I'm embarrassed that Peter Soloman came on this board, expecting sympathy, and actually getting it from most of you.
Mac:
Not sure if there's a misunderstanding. I'm not Peter Solomon, your original comment (seems to be) responding to a line I pulled from an email he sent to current swimmers and alumni about his resignation, since there seemed to be speculation about the impact of hazing incidents at Middlebury on his decision. Sorry for not clarifying in my original post.

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Re: Middlebury Coach Resigns

Post by swimdoctor » Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:40 pm

I doubt Pete is on this board. He did talk to the team and the captains about hazing, reviewed Midd's hazing policy, and met with the captains more than once about the consequences of hazing.

Midd has zero tolerance for hazing.Their definition of hazing is so broad that the administration can call almost any interaction between 3 team members "hazing" if they would like. Again, I don't think this encourages the reporting of hazing from athletes. Students were punished who weren't present, and had no knowledge of the hazing.

Midd's swim team is a racially, ethnically, gender-identity and socio-economically diverse group. They do not all come from the same New England prep school. Pete created a supportive environment where it was all about being positive.

Sorry, but those of you trashing him anonymously are the cowards. Maybe you should speak with him face-to-face if you want to know how he felt about the way his senior people betrayed him, and the administration threw him on the block.

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Re: Middlebury Coach Resigns

Post by OlderEveryday » Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:27 pm

swimdoctor wrote:I doubt Pete is on this board. He did talk to the team and the captains about hazing, reviewed Midd's hazing policy, and met with the captains more than once about the consequences of hazing.

Midd has zero tolerance for hazing.Their definition of hazing is so broad that the administration can call almost any interaction between 3 team members "hazing" if they would like. Again, I don't think this encourages the reporting of hazing from athletes. Students were punished who weren't present, and had no knowledge of the hazing.

Midd's swim team is a racially, ethnically, gender-identity and socio-economically diverse group. They do not all come from the same New England prep school. Pete created a supportive environment where it was all about being positive.

Sorry, but those of you trashing him anonymously are the cowards. Maybe you should speak with him face-to-face if you want to know how he felt about the way his senior people betrayed him, and the administration threw him on the block.
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Re: Middlebury Coach Resigns

Post by Colbybr » Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:57 pm

swimdoctor wrote:I doubt Pete is on this board. He did talk to the team and the captains about hazing, reviewed Midd's hazing policy, and met with the captains more than once about the consequences of hazing.

Midd has zero tolerance for hazing.Their definition of hazing is so broad that the administration can call almost any interaction between 3 team members "hazing" if they would like. Again, I don't think this encourages the reporting of hazing from athletes. Students were punished who weren't present, and had no knowledge of the hazing.

Midd's swim team is a racially, ethnically, gender-identity and socio-economically diverse group. They do not all come from the same New England prep school. Pete created a supportive environment where it was all about being positive.

Sorry, but those of you trashing him anonymously are the cowards. Maybe you should speak with him face-to-face if you want to know how he felt about the way his senior people betrayed him, and the administration threw him on the block.
I keep reading this lie that Middlebury's hazing policy "is so broad that the administration can call almost any interaction...hazing". Here is the hazing policy as written in Middlebury's handbook so everyone can judge for themselves:

"The College prohibits hazing activities, whether by an individual or an organization. For the purposes of this policy, hazing is defined as any act committed by a person, whether individually or in concert with others, against a student in connection with pledging, being initiated into, affiliating with, holding office in, or maintaining membership in any organization which is affiliated with an educational institution; and which is intended to have the effect of, or should reasonably be expected to have the effect of, humiliating, intimidating or demeaning the student or endangering the mental or physical health of a student. Hazing also includes soliciting, directing, aiding, or otherwise participating actively or passively in the above acts.

The implied or expressed consent to hazing is not a defense under applicable State law or this policy.

Hazing activity occurring on or off the Middlebury College campus may lead to disciplinary proceedings with penalties for the individuals involved up to and including suspension or expulsion. Hazing may also lead to the suspension or termination of a student organization.

Culpability for any violations of this policy may be attributed to the perpetrators, the student group and/or its members, and elected or appointed officers. A student group may be found culpable upon satisfactory evidence that the organization did not discourage or did not take reasonable steps to prevent hazing by its members or affiliates.

The student leadership of all registered student organizations, club sports and athletics programs are required to annually acknowledge that they will comply with the terms of the Middlebury College Hazing Policy. All student group officers shall educate their organization members on the applicable Vermont law and College policies concerning hazing
."

Seems pretty clear to me, and three students hanging out is not hazing under this policy, unless there is INTENT to humiliate, intimidate or demean or endanger the mental or physical health of one of those students.
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Re: Middlebury Coach Resigns

Post by Colbybr » Wed Apr 27, 2011 10:37 pm

swimdoctor wrote:Midd's swim team is a racially, ethnically, gender-identity and socio-economically diverse group. They do not all come from the same New England prep school. Pete created a supportive environment where it was all about being positive.
On Middlebury's men's roster, I count 6 guys from "New England Prep Schools", and two of them are from the same one (Choate). Williams College men don't have a single kid listed on their roster from a "New England Prep School", Conn College has two. Thats just a random sampling of a couple of the other schools, so I'm wondering how you arrived at this statement?
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Re: Middlebury Coach Resigns

Post by swimdoctor » Wed Apr 27, 2011 11:00 pm

Sorry you don't like Peter or agree with me.

I wasn't slamming Williams or Connecticut or anyone else. I actually was thinking of some of the other teams at Midd itself, which are almost all upper class white boys or girls.

"Intent" is the lawyer word here, and of course you must agree that according to the policy, only 2 students are necessary for "hazing".

I don't condone hazing. I disagree with the Midd adminstration as to the best way to handle it , and I don't think it is reasonable to hold Peter accountable.

I would never trash another coach or college on a forum like this.

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Re: Middlebury Coach Resigns

Post by nescac » Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:36 am

Thanks to someone for posting the Middlebury hazing policy. Some have mentioned the zero tolerance policy as too rigid. As far as I know, the only sanction was not participating in NESCAC meet for upper class women and having the team be on probation for next year. As far as I know, no individual sanctions have been leveled against individual swimmers such as suspension or even expulsion from college. Please correct me if I'm wrong. As I understand the facts, the incident came to light because a female frosh swimmer who was the subject of the hazing complained about the incident to a parent who then, in turn, complained to the administration. I also believe the source of the complaint was anonymous and then a full investigation took place. From what I've been told of the facts, there was a clear intention to (sexually) humiliate as part of a team ritual and, thus, the conduct clearly constituted hazing under the Middlebury policy which the captains should have known. What should the college have done that would have been a lesser punishment? The men (who were present) were not sanctioned. None of the female frosh were sanctioned even if they went along with the incident on a seemingly voluntary basis. It seems to me that Middlebury did respond in a nuanced fashion.

I am very pleased at Middlebury's response because it makes a statement beyond their campus walls that hazing should not be tolerated.

I have absolutely no opinion about the coach and whether he should have resigned. That is an entirely separate matter. Middlebury does have a fabulous facility and some very talented swimmers. Their frosh women conducted themselves in an exemplary manner at the NESCAC meet turning in great performances under trying circumstances. I was very impressed. With Stern graduating from Amherst, Middlebury women could place second at NESCACs and are a force to be reckoned with.

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Re: Middlebury Coach Resigns

Post by Colbybr » Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:53 am

Never said I didn't like Pete- in fact I enjoyed my own interaction with him when he came to NESCACs and announced in 2006 when his team couldn't come. This is a discussion forum and we're discussing Pete resigning, and it appears that you would like the discussion to be one sided. You are welcome to your opinion as well but we disagree.

Why do you think its not ok for someone to bash a coach anonymously (in fact you called me a coward even though my identity on this forum is very NOT anonymous but yours is), but you feel perfectly comfortable coming on here and bashing the Middlebury administration anonymously?
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Re: Middlebury Coach Resigns

Post by silentp » Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:21 am

I'm confused why people are blaming the administration... Really? They issued punishment due to serious hazing activities. The coach has to be blamed before the administration. That being said, perhaps the percentage of his blame is where we disagree. The majority of blame falls on swimmers who were present. Any swimmers who were either present or knew about this should be individually punished. They got off softly.

Regarding percentage of blame to the coach, I would think that the first time something like this happens, his blame is small. However, when it happens a 2nd time, that's where the blame level increases (for me). Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.

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