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Western Kentucky University Suspends Swimming, Diving Program For 5-Years Following Investigation

Western Kentucky University has suspended its swimming and diving program for five years following an investigation that found evidence of violations of the school's sexual misconduct and assault policy, the university announced Tuesday.

The suspension, effective Tuesday, will also lead to the eliminations of three jobs this summer. Head coach Bruce Marchionda, associate head coach Brian Thomas and head diving coach Chelsea Ale will be removed from their positions, the university said in a news release.

The WKU swimming and diving program has about 50 athletes and coaches.

The investigation, performed by Bowling Green Police and the university's Title XI coordinator, was launched after complaints by a former team member, the university said. The inquiry also found evidence of violations of the university's student code of conduct and its discrimination and harassment policy.

Current team members will be allowed to transfer; if they stay at the Bowling Green school, their scholarships will be honored through their senior year provided they remain in good academic and university standing, athletics director Todd Stewart said in the news release.

In the news release, WKU President Gary Ransdell said: “We have high standards for student conduct and conduct of our student organizations. The pervasive culture of misconduct in the swimming and diving program is intolerable. A five-year suspension is both necessary and prudent.”

Joseph Lord is the online managing editor for WFPL.

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