ELLENSBURG, Wash., February 24. YET another collegiate swim program — both the men's and women's team — is in jeopardy of extinction. The Athletic Department at Central Washington University is threatening to cut the programs at the end of this season.
And once again, concerned students and alums are fighting a rear-guard, defensive battle.
In response, late last week, Central Washington University Athletic Director, Jack Bishop, extended the March 1, 2004 deadline for a decision until a "later date."
While this news is encouraging, there is still no hint one of the most successful athletic programs at Central will survive. Mr. Bishop has tentatively agreed to meet with student leader Chris Breske this week in advance of making any permanent decisions.
Breske commented: "For nearly 50 years, Central Swimming has known many athletic directors and university presidents. With your continued support we will survive another 50 and continue to make the university, the community and the swimming world something to be exceptionally proud of. Thank you for all of your letters & emails. We will keep you all posted!
"We are working to send a message to the administration at CWU that lets them know that people appreciate the swim program and would be extremely upset if it was cut. The swim teams at CWU are definitely in need of support at this time and your support would be very appreciated.
"Please complete BOTH of the steps below to help us save swimming at CWU.
If we are going to save the swimming program at CWU, we need to act fast!
1) Sign the Letter of Support!
2) This is the second step, but it is also the most important step. After you've signed the online letter, please let the University know how you feel by sending email and letters of support to the people listed below.
Phone numbers for both the AD and President are also listed below.
President of CWU Athletic Director
Jerilyn S. McIntyre
Department of the President
314 Barge Hall
400 East University Way
Ellensburg, WA 98926-7501. Jack Bishop
Phone: 509-963-1914 or 509-963-1948
Director of Athletics
P.E. Building 101
Central Washington University
400 East University Way
Ellensburg, WA 98926
Jonathan Gordon (Sports Information Director)
The Observer (CWU School Newspaper)
Dan Jack (Director of the CWU Office of Alumni Relations and Executive Director of the Alumni Association)
To keep abreast of the CWU situation or simply to get some ideas for what to say in your letter, click on the team's website: www.cwuswimming.org