Below is a developing story. We will update with more details as they become available.
In a meeting with Athletic Director Joe Hull on Thursday afternoon, the College of Charleston varsity swimming & diving teams were informed that the program was being considered for a cut from the school’s athletics offerings. Several members of the team’s varsity program have confirmed the news.
The school did not immediately respond to an email or voicemail requesting comment.
According to one swimmer, the team was told in the meeting that they would be able to finish the season, but that there would be no 2015-2016 season. As is usual in these situations, the school has committed to honor scholarships through the end of their collegiate careers for those who choose not to transfer.
The team was given some hope at saving the program. The crux of the cutting of the program is due to repairs and renovations needed for the Theodore Stern Student Activities Center, which was built in 1974 and underwent a $2 million renovation that was completed in October 2000. The Athletics Director said that if $1.5 million could be raised to contribute to the costs of keeping an aging pool running, then the possibility of saving the program could be discussed.
If a solution to the pool is not found, according to one swimmer the pool will be converted into meeting space and offices.
One member of the team said that the team was “upset about a lack of communication” from the athletic department, saying that they knew the pool was failing but chose not to find a solution until the last minute. That same team, though, says that in the immediate aftermath of the news, the athletes are prepared to fight to save their program and “won’t accept no for an answer.”
This is the first Division I program to be up for cutting since UNC-Wilmington saved their program from being cut. The University of Maryland cut their swimming program after the 2011-2012 season.
College of Charleston competes in the Colonial Athletic Association, where last season the men finished 6th and the women 7th.
Actually the 1.5 million for the pool renovations is the same amount, almost, 1.2 million, that is being paid to the basketball coach to comlete his five year contract after he was let go, resigned due to his misconduct at the college.
No pool, no swimming, 1.2 million for the b ball coach
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It’s interesting that Joe Hull is perhaps most noted for his fundraising efforts at Maryland (another school that dropped swimming recently.) Clearly those talents aren’t being used enough in Charleston where there is a ridiculous amount of wealth. A million and half is a drop in Charleston. I think it’s more philosophical. I swam at Fresno State when they announced the impending cancellation of swimming, waterpolo and couple other small sports. The AD was from the Midwest and wanted to focus on revenue-producing sports even though the cost of the small sports amounted to a handful of football scholarships. It’s a lack of understanding what all sports do for personal strength, integrity, development, and maturity. And we all know that… Read more »
I think it is a shame, in this time of incredible personal wealth, that a university can not figure out a way to raise 1.5 million from donors or creative marketing of its assets to keep the program going! Suggestions such as reaching out to former swimmers and alums, opening it up to the community for a fee have gone ignored! Isn’t there someone out there who for exchange of advertising could keep this venue open?
Iwould be sad to see that a program that helped me and many others get though college, die. It has always been rumored that the COfC Sailing Team has millions in the bank. Maybe they could fund this project? Just a thought.
Keep Swimming and Diving!!!
the cutting of men and women’s swimming and dive program will certainly not enhance community support. The administration is somewhat correct in calling this a financial issue.
I believe the loss of fan support and revenue from men’s basketball is partially responsible for the financial crisis. None of the non-profit athletic programs should suffer due to the hiring and firing of coach wojchik. the swim and dive teams did not hire or fire coach wojchik. They should not pay for the buyout. Also, why replace a successful and growing sport with a fledgling newcomer.