Gov. Cuomo Quashes Crowdfunding Efforts to Pay for SUNY Geneseo Travel

SUNY Geneseo Swimming and Diving has found itself in the eye of a storm. In 2016 New York governor Andrew Cuomo signed Executive Order 155, prohibiting publicly-funded travel to the state of North Carolina in response to that state’s passing of its HB2 law, a piece of legislation seen as discriminatory by the state of New York. EO 155 stipulated:

  • All agencies, departments, boards, authorities and commissions to review all requests for state funded or state sponsored travel to the state of North Carolina so long as there is law in effect there that creates the grounds for discrimination against LGBT citizens; and
  • To bar any such publicly funded or publicly sponsored travel to such location, unless such travel is necessary for the enforcement of New York State law, to meet prior contractual obligations, or for the protection of public health, welfare, and safety.

New York State’s ban on publicly funded travel shall take effect immediately and shall continue until such law is repealed.

In practical terms, this meant that the SUNY Geneseo athletes would not be allowed to fly in and out of North Carolina, nor stay in hotels in Greensboro, when they compete at 2019 NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships from March 20th-24th at the Greensboro Aquatic Center in Greensboro, North Carolina. As SwimSwam’s Torrey Hart reported last week, several SUNY Geneseo alumni set up a crowdfunding site to raise private funds so that the team could stay in Greensboro and not commute from Virginia.

However, Gov. Cuomo’s office today issued a statement saying the athletes could not use private funds to stay in North Carolina while representing the state of New York. In a statement to News10NBC, the governor’s Senior Advisor Rich Azzopardi said, “The team is traveling to North Carolina and competing in the event, but not staying there. The limited exception is that the team gets to travel there, but not stay in North Carolina and stay in a bordering state instead. The issue is not just tax dollars, but the travel itself. Under the executive order, if you are traveling under the banner of state travel in your state capacity you would ordinarily be banned from traveling there even if there is outside funding, but we are allowing the travel there in this instance to honor their commitment to the NCAA to participate in championships.”

Donors to the GoFundMe page request a refund. Any remaining funds will be donated to the SUNY Geneseo Swimming and Diving program.

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Mark Rauterkus

Solidarity has its downsides too. New York, the EMPIRE state, for good reason. Oh well.

Thanks to the heads-up move and donations from the alumni and friends. Good forward thinking. Wonderful alternative, or else swim unattached. That would be comical. Unattached as in breaking the solidarity — get it? :/

Hope that nobody gets lost and stranded on the way back to the hotel nor misses the van as coaches drive across the border.


Can’t they technically get rooms in Virginia and never stay there. Just have the parents get rooms in Greensboro and the swimmers stay there. I don’t know if that violates ncaa rules but that’s a way to stick it to cuomo. I mean it will hit the parents wallets but worth it in my opinion if it is possible.


Per NCAA regulation, it would still be considered a violation because the rooms they would be staying in would be paid for by an outside source that isn’t tied to the athletes/program directly. A potential loophole would be for the parents to transfer funds to their children’s personal bank accounts and have them get the rooms.

WV Swammer

This is disgusting from Cuomo…disallowing your constituents the right to compete at the highest ability for “political correctness” surely there’s another way. Feel bad for these athletes, wish them the best given the poor circumstances far out of their hands.


WV has the same thoughts on the NC laws allowing for open discrimination against people based on baseless beliefs. It’s not political correctness. It’s moral, ethical, and humanistic correctness. Blame NC for allowing the laws to be enacted and then the NCAA for allowing NC to host the Championships despite the backlash.

Susan M.

Some might posit that it is out of moral, ethical and humanistic correctness to allow an accidentally-born baby to survive. These entities should embark on a similar boycott of the Empire State.


No. Just no.


Yeah cause that has a lot to do with this conversation.


It sure does. Why not boycott NY, which has much more vile laws.


That’s what happens when there is simply too much government control


I couldnt agree more.

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swim/swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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