SwimSwam Podcast: How William & Mary Got Cut Even with an Endowment

On SwimSwam Podcast, we’re giving you an in-depth listen at all things swimming. Host Coleman Hodges welcomes guests and guest co-hosts alike to get perspective on our ever-changing swimming universe and break down the past, present, and future of aquatic sports.

I sat down with Jesse Moore and Matt Crispino, two of many William & Mary alumni who have gone through the swim program and come out to accomplish great things in the swimming realm. W&M has a history of producing talented coaches and swimmers for decades, yet the program is set to be cut at the end of the academic year. Jesse and Matt explain the importance of this program and why they were so quick to act on its behalf. With the help of alumni, they were able swiftly launch a website to raise funds in an attempt to save the program.

Visit the Save Tribe Swimming Website here.

Music: Otis McDonald
www.otismacmusic.com

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Brian
2 months ago

This was very informative. Thank you to Matt and Jesse for sharing their insights.

What will happen to the $3M swimming endowment if the program goes away? Do the other programs being cut have their own endowments also. Did they programs get targeted for cuts so the athletic department could use these funds for the basketball area renovations?

Admin
Reply to  Brian
2 months ago

One piece of it has to be sent back to the donor, and one piece will revert to the endowment for an academic department. The rest is up to the discretion of the AD.

Daniel Smith
Reply to  Braden Keith
2 months ago

Thanks Braden: that sounds about right for an athletics endowment distribution upon dissolution. The late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall was right, “It really is just about the money.”

Ray Bosse
Reply to  Brian
2 months ago

Brian,

The exact question I was just going to ask. Brandon’s reply is very much in line with the answer I got from people who legally manage endowments. I would like an answer to your question if any of the other sports had endowments. It is an old adage, but may be true in case…follow the money!

Tribe Parent
Reply to  Ray Bosse
2 months ago

Yes, combined endowments of cut sports $12MM

Ray Bosse
Reply to  Tribe Parent
2 months ago

Seems as if “follow the money” is not just true in reruns of “Law and Order”!

Brian
Reply to  Tribe Parent
2 months ago

That seems like a lot of money for the AD to put toward the basketball arena. A $57M renovation is a huge amount of money for an arena that draws less than 50% capacity at best. The school just finished upgrading the football stadium, which will have 1000s of empty seats every game. ADs don’t move up the ladder based on the success of their swimming and diving programs. This is an AD who wants to have a signature build.

Daniel Smith
Reply to  Brian
2 months ago

Perhaps the AD and president should legally be required to pubicly show the “decision process” that lead to the decision to eliminate some sports and not others.

ReneDescartes
2 months ago

I found it interesting and didn’t know this prior to listening was that $118,000 (per year) of the endowment was used to spend on the coaching salaries.

Brian
Reply to  ReneDescartes
2 months ago

I believe the endowment and fundraising is used to pay for the programs operating expenses and small scholarship amount on the women’s side. I am under the impression that the only expense the athletic department picks up is the coaches salaries/benefits package. The were raising in excess of $200K a year with a portion going to grow the endowment each year.

It is really sad to see this decision and shows an AD who apparently saw no value in swimming at William and Mary.

RenéDescartes
Reply to  Brian
2 months ago

Yes, it is mind boggling.

MIchael
2 months ago

Thank you Coleman, Jesse and Matt.
So saddened by all of this. There is no respect for swimming and diving at the college level .. always so expendable it seems.

About Coleman Hodges

Coleman Hodges

Coleman started his journey in the water at age 1, and although he actually has no memory of that, something must have stuck. A Missouri native, he joined the Columbia Swim Club at age 9, where he is still remembered for his stylish dragon swim trunks. After giving up on …

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