Amid the hooplah surrounding the announcement of the Clemson Swimming and Diving programs being cut, another Division-1 program that won it’s battle flew well under the radar. In fact, the move was so low-key that the headline on the NJIT website was still about the program being suspended until today. The reinstatement of the men’s program was first posted on the group’s facebook page, but only recently has any official statement been made.
In an email, Rob Franc confirmed that the men’s program has been reinstate, with him serving as a volunteer interim head coach and Mike Anderson returning as the assistant. Franc is an NJIT swimming alumnus, having graduated in 2007. While the program will receive limited funding from the University, they will have full backing from the athletics department.
“The schedule for the 10-11 season is already booked and ready to go, so there is a lot of excitement with the guys,” Franc said.
The program will be an official varsity program, but will fund much of their program through alumni donations and fund raising.
Credit must be given to the NJIT administration, who all along insisted that this was just a “suspension” and not full on cut. While that originally could have been construed as an AD saying the right thing, Lenny Kaplan and the Athletics Department kept their word to work with the program to try and find a solution that would allow the team to continue, while still meeting the state mandate of higher education reducing their budgets by over $170 million dollars. The state of New Jersey has an obscene $10.1 billion dollar budget gap.
The women’s team was not able to reach a similar agreement with the AD. While they will not compete during the 2010-2011 season, Franc says that he has “all the NJIT women back to continue training and compete at an exhibition level. ” Franc “hope(s) to have the women’s team reinstated in a year.”