Urbana University, Home to Coed Division II Swim Team, to Close Permanently

Ohio’s Urbana University will not re-open campus after the COVID-19 pandemic resolves, the school announced Tuesday. The private university closed all residence halls, moved to online learning, and canceled all remaining athletic events for the semester on March 12.

Urbana is a branch campus of Franklin University, which primarily serves an online student population and is headquartered in Columbus. The school, which has an enrollment of 1,254 for the 2019-20 school year, was founded in 1850 and acquired by Franklin in 2014.

“As a result of this decision, academic programming will be moved to Franklin University, while athletic offerings and on-site administrative roles will cease at the Urbana branch campus,” the school said in a news release.

Urbana’s Division II athletics program included a men’s and women’s swim team. Led by head coach Cassandra Wendall, the 2019-20 squad featured eight women and six men; Wendall was in her first full season with the team. The Knights finished ninth at the 2020 Great Midwest & Mountain East Conference Championships.

The school also hosts men’s teams in basketball, baseball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, volleyball and wrestling, as well as women’s teams in acrobatics & tumbling, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, lacrosse, softball, volleyball and water polo.

The news came shortly before the College Swimming Coaches Association of America tweeted that “COVID-19 has claimed its first two swim teams.” It’s not clear at this point which teams the tweet was referencing – but presumably, Urbana is one of them.

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1 year ago

What are the two teams that are gone now?

1 year ago

It will be interesting to see the affects of this as they pertain to “for profit” schools vs. “non-profit” schools. I know those terms are loose at best but there are enough distinctions that one may come out of this on very different ground than another.

Justin Thompson
Reply to  Scoobysnak
1 year ago

Maybe instead of a college like Harvard, who has a 40 billion dollar endowment, siphoning off 8.7 million in Federal aid smaller schools like this should get the money.

Reply to  Justin Thompson
1 year ago

Harvard is giving it back.

Reply to  PowerPlay
1 year ago

As I understand, Harvard never actually asked for or accepted the money. The politicians gave it to them, and then criticized them for it. So Harvard isn’t “giving it back,” they’re “rejecting it.”

Stanford and Princeton have done the same.

Cornell says it will take the money, as does Notre Dame (giving it all to students).

Irish Ringer
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

It’s no surprise that the politicians made a mistake given they often don’t read through these bills prior to passage. Good for Harvard and others rejecting it.

Reply to  Justin Thompson
1 year ago

A large part of the money for colleges and universities was earmarked for students and their expenses. Harvard and other high level schools have scores of impoverished, and frequently, first generation students on full stipends. Many of those students had no money to get home, pay for food without university food services, store their belongings, etc. If you look at the list of funding for colleges and universities in the bill, you can see the amount for students/university.

olde coach
1 year ago

Unfortunately a preview of coming attractions. Not just for swimming, but for some of these small private schools who were on the verge of “hitting the wall” due to the declining college age population prior to the pandemic

Justin Thompson
Reply to  olde coach
1 year ago

Unfortunately adding 6-7 million unemployed each week while we wait out this virus will have a trickle down effect for all of us.

About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majored in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swam distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

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