The William & Mary swimming & diving team are taking an all-fronts approach in their effort to save their program after the school announced that it would discontinue the sport earlier this month.
Just 4 days after launching their website and pledge drive, the school has already received $850,507 in pledges from 484 donors.
That already makes them one of the most successful fundraising efforts among cut programs this offseason; so far, none of those efforts have successfully saved a team.
As part of their continued efforts to bring publicity to their efforts, one rising junior on the William & Mary swim team, Missy Cundiff, has produced a music video about the program and its cutting.
The video, which has shades of a ‘diss track,’ doesn’t just talk about the successes of the team. It actually distills the alumni fundraising group’s argument into a rhyming highlight of the case being made to save the program. Cundiff, under the name “Lil’ Mizzy,” directly addresses the school’s athletics director Samantha Huge.
Huge has been the target of criticism for alumni over the amount of money being invested into the school’s football and basketball programs, at the expense of swimming & diving and other programs.
One alumni, not directly affiliated with the fundraising group, told SwimSwam this week that he believes that the school’s culture doesn’t align with Huge’s aspirations, and that her goals might be more aligned with advancing her career than advancing the school’s athletics program holistically.
SwimSwam has made several FOIA requests from William & Mary for more financial information about the program and its endowment. The school has acknowledged the request but has not yet provided any of that information.