Something extremely fishy is going on with the Towson University women’s swimming and diving team.
In October Swimming World magazine reported that a team member had found a smart phone in the locker room, which isn’t open to the public. According to a University statement, the phone “may have captured video images and audio recordings of the student-athletes from inside the locker room.” A team member’s parent told the Baltimore Sun that their kid watched an eight-minute video on the phone after finding it.
Neither the owner of the phone nor its provenance was known, but the comments section of Swimming World’s post is filled with accusations that the phone belonged to a coach, as well as allegations of abuse against the coaching staff.
Not much else happened publicly until last Monday, when the Towson student paper wrote a blistering editorial after the University charged them over $2,000 to obtain emails and other public records related to the investigation. The editorial served its purpose, and the fees were waived.
Yesterday Swimming World reported that, faced with a lack of information from the administration, the Towson women’s swimming and diving team was planning on boycotting this weekend’s meet against Pittsburgh. They also reported that two of the team’s four coaches, but not head coach Pat Mead, had been placed on administrative leave. The University responded that the investigation was proceeding as quickly as possible.
Today the Baltimore Sun reported that Towson would officially skip the meet against Pittsburgh. According to the University, the decision was made so that the swimmers and divers could,“refocus, recover, and regroup and to prepare to restart the competition schedule in January.” The paper added that first-year assistant Jake Shrum was elevated to interim head coach and an interim diving coach was hired as well, but that the University would not comment on the status of head coach Pat Mead.
So what the hell is going on here? Nobody seems to know! Was the phone left in the locker room to record naked people, private conversations, or something else? Is the University conducting a thorough investigation, or are they dragging their feet? Is the investigation limited to questions about the phone, or has it expanded? Why were two coaches placed on administrative leave, and what is happening to Pat Mead?
A month after the phone was found, there are still many more questions than answers.
Photo via Shutterstock; h/t Keith