LINDSBORG – The Bethany Swedes golf team has been suspended from playing in three tournaments for taking an inappropriate picture. The fifteen players posed without clothing and with strategically placed golf equipment. The photo was posted on Facebook with a caption that identified them as the Bethany College golf team.
Bethany College did not approve the photo; the players took it of their own accord. While they acted on their own, they captioned the photo as the Swedes golf team and thereby portrayed themselves as representatives of Bethany.
This behavior does not align with Bethany’s values; therefore, disciplinary action was taken. President Edward F. Leonard III said, “These students made what they thought was a harmless decision, but there are ramifications of their actions. Their names are out there on the Internet with this photo indefinitely. They also affected Bethany College when they captioned their photo as the Swedes golf team.”
The golf players are suspended from playing in the first three tournaments of the 2011-12 season. Bethany’s policies allow students to appeal administrative decisions, so the golf players are likely to discuss the situation with President Edward Leonard III this week.
Although the players’ actions do not uphold Bethany’s reputation, the college is an educational institution that teaches students in and beyond the classroom. Jon Daniels, athletic director and men’s golf coach, said, “This photo does not reflect the character of our golf program and of Bethany College. These young men made a mistake, but we’re here to help teach our students more than just academics. By helping them understand the consequences of this decision, we can help them make better decisions in the future.”
Regardless of the outcome of the appeal, this will be a learning opportunity for the players and all Bethany students. Leonard said, “We hope we can turn this situation into one that can educate the players and our other students about the responsibilities they have and how carefully they should consider their decisions.”