(The following is an Open Letter to the University of Toledo Board of Trustees written by attorney Duncan Scott, a former standout at Indiana University.)
Toledo Board of Trustees:
Just be honest.
It is the simplest and most important thing to ask of public leaders.
If the financial issue has already been met by supporters of the U.T. men's swim team, don't allow the team to be cut.
If there is some other reason, make the AD and President explain it honestly, in a logically sound fashion — if they can. And know for sure that whatever money the team and its supporters raised this week is not simply being taken out of some other University of Toledo pocket as contributions that would have come to the Athletic Department anyway. They would not have.
And whatever you do, don't value saving "face" for AD O'Brien and President Johnson, to whom the issue is a minor annoyance at best, over the interests of the students you supposedly serve — to whom it is a huge issue. If they are not being fair with the student swimmers, they deserve a little egg on their faces — if not the full-blown shame brought on the University of Nebraska by their morally corrupt and logically dishonest disbanding of their men's program last year, also supposedly on financial grounds, when record bonuses were awarded to athletic department execs later in the same school year — paid primarily from monies those same exec knew was going to be coming into the program but declined to announce until after cutting swimming.
If they simply don't want to hassle with another Olympic sport program, make them admit it.
If they are simply following a flawed method to seek a Title IX compliance stamp of approval, make them say it.
Do not let them lie just because they think it is a more politically correct rationale.
If the problem really is finances and the financial parameters have been met through other means, just thank your lucky stars for the motivation and responsiveness of certain students and alumni, and honor their passion rather than the intellectual dishonesty of administrators.
M. Duncan Scott
Indiana University, 1975
Arizona State University Law 1978