The Lockhaven University Women’s Swim Team in Pennsylvania was told by the school’s athletic director in late January that there was a proposal to cut the team from the school’s athletic program.
They met with athletic director Tom Gioglio, who according to an athlete on the team, Doni Matrone, read off a prepared script and then refused to answer any questions about the proposed cut. The team was told that all of their questions would be answered with transparency and directed to the school’s president and vice president, Michael Florentino and Rodney Jenkins, who are in charge of the proposal.
Over the winter break however, Matrone claims that Jenkins canceled the team’s training trip and would not offer proper reasoning behind the decision. According to Matrone, there was no cost to the school for the trip; the athletes had funded the entire trip themselves. According to Matrone, Jenkins claimed after his original lack of response that it was due to financial restraints, and after being notified of the fact that it wouldn’t cost the school any money due to the fundraising, he told the athletes the trip was cancelled, “because I said so.”
In a later meeting with two athletes on the team including Matrone, Gioglio expressed his discontent with the fact that the information about the proposal to cut the team was released so early.
According to Matrone the men’s track team was proposed to be cut as well as part of the school’s proposal.
According to Matrone there is a financial crisis across all Pennsylvania State System Of Higher Education (PSSHE) schools because of gender equity, meaning they’re trying to allocate funds evenly to offer equal opportunity to both male and female athletes and students. Their reasoning for proposing to cut both women’s swimming and men’s track according to Matrone, stems from the above reasoning.
Matrone claims that parents have been getting in touch with Jenkins in order to express concern for cutting the teams, and showing their support in keeping the teams as part of the athletic program.
Swimmers are looking to spread the word over social media through the hashtag #SaveHaven