Friday, May 17, 2013

Save UNCW Swimming and Diving

To the 10's of fans of my blog, you may or may not know that I am an alumni of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. During my four years at UNCW, I competed on the division 1 swimming and diving team. Just this past season, the men's swimming and diving team captured there 12th straight Colonial Athletic Association Championship, cementing there legacy as one of the most dominant programs in the conference across all sports. Both the men's and women's team's have also sent student-athletes to the NCAA championships, showing influence on a national stage that is uncommon for similar mid-major programs. However, a recent report released by the Intercollegiate Athletics Review Committee has recommended cutting the men's and women's swimming and diving programs along with three others (Softball, Men's Indoor Track, and Men's Cross Country) due to budget concerns. The university wishes to divert the money saved to help make "revenue" sports like Basketball more competitive. I put revenue in quotes because the Basketball team had the largest deficit last year ($1.1 million) of any sports team. Seeing as the Basketball team has failed on the court and in the classroom (ineligible due to grades last year for post-season play) with a budget of $1.6 million, lack of money doesn't seem to be there problem. The swimming and diving programs at UNCW have the smallest budgets of any other swimming and diving teams in the conference. Yet, year after year, the team gets the job done with high average GPA's and graduation rates,  and an unprecedented string of confernece titles. Clearly we have some amazingly talented people working with the swim and dive team that would be lost if these cuts go through.

Collegiate athletics programs should be valued by more than just dollars and cents. These are university programs that help produce some of the most influential and successful members of our community. Lessons learned on the field of play are invaluable supplements to those learned in the classroom. As an alumni of the program, I can say that it has been one of the greatest influencing factors on my life thus far. I urge you all to please help raise awareness anyway you can to help save not just the swim team's, but also the other team's on the chopping block. The athletics program at UNCW is one big family, and if you take away even just one, the family is at risk of falling apart. Whose to say that any of the other programs are safe if this precedent is made. One way to show your support is by clicking on the following link to sign a petition stating that you support the UNCW Men's and Women's Swimming and Diving programs.

Thanks for your time, and as Coach Allen always says, "it's a great day to be a Seahawk".

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