Injured swimmer drank before accident

According to documents obtained by The Lamron, senior Blue Wave member Sean Kennedy was drinking before he dove into the shallow end of Alumni Pool on March 5.

Kennedy, who was the SUNYAC champion this winter in the 200 butterfly race, suffered an unspecified head injury after diving to retrieve an item he had previously thrown into the pool at an end-of-the-year team meeting.

In a statement head coach Paul Dotterweich submitted to University Police on March 6, Dotterweich asked Kennedy to remove the items from the pool before he left. In his statement describing the incident he said, "I saw Sean walk by with his suit on … I heard a splash in the pool and looked in that direction. I saw Sean surface with his shoulders under the first lane line. It initially appeared as though he was sculling looking for the goggle case on the bottom."

Dotterweich stated that he was unaware that Kennedy had been drinking and that he was unable to tell if Kennedy was intoxicated through their interactions during the meeting. "No, absolutely not, his statements to me were clear and lucid," he said.

Dotterweich said that soon after Kennedy jumped in the pool, he noticed blood coming from the athlete's head and immediately went to get the backboard. While he was prepping the board, another swimmer, whose identity was redacted from the official statement, called emergency services.

Several other students, including senior Dan Szajta, dove into the pool to assist Dotterweich with strapping their teammate to the board. Kennedy was conscious and talking throughout the entire process and at one point attempted to get up off of the board.

Athletic Director Marilyn Moore stressed that all those involved in helping Kennedy were certified lifeguards. Both Moore and Dotterweich said they praised those involved for their quick responses and levelheaded behavior throughout the incident. Moore continued, commending Dotterweich for his actions throughout the entire situation: "He commanded those students; someone had to take control and he was in command."

In the statement submitted to University Police, Dotterweich said that two athletes approached him separately to inform him that Kennedy had been drinking prior to the incident.

It is a violation of the student code of conduct for a student to be involved in an accident, incident or personal injury that is related to the use by that student of any stimulant, intoxicant or other illicit drug. According to Vice President for Student and Campus Life Robert Bonfiglio, Dean of Students Leonard Sancillio will be reviewing the case and eventually determining if Kennedy will face any repercussions for his actions.

Bonfiglio added that he met with Dotterweich, Sancillio, Moore and interim Chief of Police Scott Kenney to review the incident from several perspectives, including an emergency response perspective and an athletic perspective.

In terms of the athletic perspective, Dotterweich said, "The point of that meeting was to review our roles in the situation and what our roles would be in the future."

"We do have a student-athlete code of conduct and team expectations for all student athletes," Moore said. "We're examining those and we are looking at those and working with the members of the swim team to see a different direction we want to go in." Dotterweich added that the goal in the future would be prevention and increased participation in the Bystander Intervention Program.

Dotterweich, who hasn't spoken to Kennedy since he left Rochester, said that Kennedy is no longer at Strong Hospital but has moved into the recovery phase of his accident. "He's progressing well, he's got a great work ethic from his athletic experiences and he's applying that to his rehab," he said. "He's at one of the best rehabilitation centers in the country."