The Seton Hall swim and dive teams departed for their annual training trip to Puerto Rico on Dec. 29 with a roster of 45 athletes.
Following the trip, there were three fewer swimmers in the program. Senior captains Steve Hausmann and Tim Bosse and junior Keith Carlino - all over the age of 21 - were dismissed from the team shortly following the trip in connection with an alcohol-related incident that occurred while away.
While Hausmann has conceded that he was drinking during the trip and was in violation of University policy, Bosse and Carlino contend that their dismissal from the team is unfair, as they said they did not touch any alcohol while in Puerto Rico. They also are upset because the dismissal has caused them to lose over $50,000 in scholarship money.
Seton Hall Athletics denied multiple requests for comment and refused to allow other members of the swim and dive program to speak to reporters. The three men’s swimmers were all roommates at the Hilton Ponce Golf and Casino Resort. Hausmann, who had been with the program for three and a half years, was unable to swim throughout the trip due to a herniated disc that he suffered earlier in the season. Still a part of the team, he went anyway.
Sidelined for the entire trip, Hausmann began drinking. In doing so, he was in violation of Seton Hall University Athletics’ policy which states, “Alcohol is not to be purchased or consumed by any student-athlete, student athletic trainer or student manager while representing Seton Hall University on the road.”
“I was drinking, I shouldn’t have been,” Hausmann said.
After finding out one of his swimmers was drinking, Swimming and Diving Coach Ron Farina called a mandatory team meeting and asked if Hausmann had alcohol in his room.
Hausmann was told to stay behind in his room, under watch of an assistant coach, according to Hausmann. Bosse and Carlino said they told Farina and Roberto Sasso, assistant athletics director, who was also on the trip, that Hausmann had an open bottle of rum - approximately 750 milliliters - hidden in the room. Farina and assistant coaches then searched the room and found the rum. In addition, they also found an unopened bottle of wine, according to Bosse and Carlino. As a result of violating team rules, Hausmann was sent home early from the trip and later dismissed from the swim team. For the remainder of the trip, Bosse and Carlino said they were told to stay in their room except for team practices and breakfasts. [caption id="attachment_13225" align="alignright" width="272"] Photo courtesy of Keith Carlino[/caption] The team returned to South Orange on Jan. 6. Shortly after the team arrived on campus, Farina texted Bosse and Carlino thanking the two for their cooperation. On Jan. 7 Farina met with Athletics and later told Bosse and Carlino that they were dismissed from the team and would lose their respective scholarships. Bosse said that he lost $7,000 in financial aid while Carlino, who said he will look to transfer to another university, said he lost $45,000. Hausmann wished to not disclose the amount of his scholarship.
The University’s alcohol policy gives administrators latitude in determining punishment for infractions. According to the policy, “If a student-athlete is involved in an alcohol-related incident involving no legal consequences, the sport administrator supervising that program will determine if the circumstances warrant counseling, intervention and/or suspension of the student from practice and or competition.” Student-athletes who violate the alcohol policy are subject to dismissal and the loss of their scholarship. After meeting with Seton Hall University’s Office of Financial Aid, Bosse and Carlino met with Athletics again on Jan. 22 - this time with Farina and Senior Associate Athletic Director Kevin Sponzo - asking for detailed reasoning behind their punishment. The two former swimmers claimed that they were not in violation of the rule because they were not drinking and should not be punished so severely.
Ray Bosse, Tim’s father and a former swim coach at West Point, agreed. “I’ve coached West Point for 18 years, and I’ve sent kids home for drinking on training trips,” the father said. “I didn’t send them all home. But we sat down and found out whose it was, and those were the one’s that were sent home.” Hausmann said his discipline is fair, but he believes that is not the case for his teammates, who he insisted did not drink on the trip. “Absolutely not,” Hausmann said. “It’s very unfortunate, I feel horribly guilty for all of this. As far as I’m concerned, they really haven’t had a chance to really sit down and have their say with anybody.” David Heim can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @Davidheim12. Gary Phillips can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @GaryHPhillips.