Last Friday afternoon after a team meeting and coaching evaluation, senior Sean Kennedy dove into the shallow end of the Merritt Athletic Center Alumni Pool, which is approximately three feet deep, to retrieve a goggle case and hit his head on the bottom.
According to University Police Interim Assistant Chief Joe VanRemmen, a 911 call came in at 5:27 p.m. Friday and shortly afterward, an ambulance transported Kennedy to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester.
It is unclear as to how the goggle case ended up in the pool or why Kennedy dove in to retrieve it.As of this time the extent of Kennedy's injuries are unknown, though he was immobilized on a body board when he was removed from the water by his coaches and teammates.
"The people who assisted in the rescue were all certified lifeguards," said athletic director Marilyn Moore. "That I'm absolutely sure of." According to the patient information line at Strong Memorial Hospital, Kennedy is in guarded condition."I went to the hospital and met his parents [on Sunday]," said Robert Bonfiglio, vice president for Student and Campus Life.
"What his dad told me was that he had suffered a significant injury and that there would be a long rehabilitation period." Bonfiglio said that he couldn't confirm as to whether Kennedy was paralyzed or not, but added, "He seems to be progressing in a consistent fashion and we're all happy about that."
Moore, who visited Kennedy in the hospital Saturday, said that he was talking and in good spirits.
"Right now this is being treated as an accident and our thoughts and prayers are with Sean and his parents," she said.Moore added that she had sent all members of the team an e-mail and that counseling was being offered for the swim team through Lauderdale Health Center.
Head coach Paul Dotterweich and numerous members of the team declined to be interviewed for this story.Both Moore and Bonfiglio praised the actions of Dotterweich and the team after the accident. Bonfiglio called the reactions of all of those involved "exemplary," and said that he believed Dotterweich should be commended for his actions.
Moore emphasized that right now the focus is on Kennedy and his family but added that at some point a report detailing the events surrounding the accident would be published.
"There's so much information to go through … we have to work through the whole situation," she said.
"We're in the process of trying to figure out exactly what happened … we all want answers as to why this happened," Bonfiglio said. "Only Sean knows for sure what happened."