IOWA CITY, Iowa, April 27. (The following is another open letter to the Board of Trustees of the University of Toledo, which this Wednesday will consider whether or not to approve the recommendation of the University's president and athletic director to kill the school's men's swimming team. The author, Andrew O. Cinoman, is a professor at the University of Iowa and a Masters swimmer.)
When I read about the decision to cut men's swimming at UT, I sent this off to the Board of Trustees. As a fomer student affairs professional at Ohio University (and Ohio University Masters swimmer), I can see the writing on the wall…and the thought of having MAC swimming crumble makes me sick.
Just my contribution to the fight…
To Whom it May Concern –
As an individual who has competed in the sport of swimming for over 30 years, and as someone who has devoted himself to a career in higher education, I urge you to listen carefully to the members of the men's swimming team at the University of Toledo, and their supporters from within the Mid-American Conference, and around the country.
If Dr. Johnson and Mr. O'Brien are truly interested in developing the moral and intellectual character of their student athletes, they should not be eliminating opportunities. What sort of message does this send to the student athletes they are supposed to be nurturing? A hypocritical one at best, and a morally corrupt one at worst…
I have enough experience in higher education to know that compromise is at the heart of appropriate and principled decision making…and I am sure that a compromise can be achieved in this situation if you are willing to see that happen.
Listen to what these people are telling you, and don't let pride or ego get in the way of having an outside source provide a plausible solution to this issue. Pay close attention to the passion these individuals have for the sport they love. Is this not what we want to see in our young people? Isn't this passion what we are working so hard to develop through the process of higher education?
Keep the sport of swimming at Toledo…and in the MAC. In the end, it is the right thing to do.
Andrew H. Cinoman, Ph.D.
The University of Iowa