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EXCLUSIVE: Nebraska to Announce Tomorrow It Will Cut Men's Swimming; Women's Program's Future Undecided -- March 25, 2001

By Phillip Whitten

LINCOLN, Neb. March 25. SWIMMING WORLD and swiminfo.com learned this morning from very reliable sources that the University of Nebraska plans to announce tomorrow that it is axing it's men's swimming and diving program. The "reason" it will use is financial; the men's program costs about $500,000/year.

Reportedly the University is undecided about what it will do with its women's team. One rumor is that the aadministration will close the Devaney Sports Center and move the women's team to an inferior facility.

The action comes only weeks after the University of kansas announced it would close its men's program--a decision the students and alumni are fighting vigorously.

Just two weeks ago, this writer spoke to Chris Anderson, Nebraska's Director of Sports Information, about rumors that Nebraska was considering axing it's men's swim program. She replied that while the university always takes a hard financial look at all it's athletic programs, there was abssolutely no reason to believe that the men's swim team was in jeopardy.

Interim coach Paul Nelsen, currently in Austria, was notified of the decision by telephone yesterday. I spoke with Nelsen last week about the rumors and he indicated that he was "very concerned."

The administration plans to call a meeting tomorrow of all the members of the men's swimming and diving team to announce its decision and provide details about what will come next.

Nebraska assistant coach Kelly Nordell had this to say: "This decision saddens all of us. I hope it would sadden and disgust coaches around the country. Who's next?"


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