Western Kentucky University has eliminated all funding for its swimming & diving programs, a local newspaper reports, leaving the program unlikely to return from what was originally framed as a five-year suspension.
The Bowling Green Daily News reports that WKU cut $1.14 million from its budget in recent months, and that the 2018-2019 budget approved last week included the elimination of all funds for the swimming & diving program.
Western Kentucky suspended its swim & dive programs in 2015, terminating all of its coaches in the process. That came after a Title IX investigation revealed evidence of hazing and sexual harassment within the program that included underage team members pressured to drink alcohol. That suspension was intended to last five years, or until the spring of 2020. The scandal also led to a lawsuit by a former swimmer, which was eventually settled out of court.
The five-year suspension was seen by some (our opinion section included) as the precursor to a full program cut, though as of last fall, the school only said it would “evaluate the return of the swimming and diving program closer to the expiration of the five-year suspension.”
Now, the Daily News report suggests that “barring a significant influx of outside money,” the WKU swimming & diving program won’t return from its suspension. The Daily News reports that money previously used to fund the swim & dive program had been redirected during the suspension “toward cost of attendance.” The team’s budget was $995,421 for the 2014-2015 season, the newspaper reports.