TEMPE, Arizona, July 15. ARIZONA State University Vice President for Athletics Lisa Love announced Tuesday, July 15, 2008 that the athletic department is fully reinstating the sport of varsity men's swimming, effective immediately, due to financial support from various donors across the globe. The sport of wrestling had been reinstated on May 23, 2008.
"It is comforting to know that we have had two separate sports communities step up and raise enough funds to support these programs," says Love. "This is both remarkable and special in that, for the second time, passionate alumni are giving back to protect the future of an ASU varsity sport that not only served them well, but, as of today, will continue to serve future athletes."
ASU had announced on May 13, 2008 that it was discontinuing the sport of men's swimming, along with wrestling and men's tennis, due to the rising cost of operating a 22-sport varsity program. Men's diving was never affected by the decision. It was determined at that time that sponsoring a 20-sport program would better fit ASU's athletic financial profile. Love indicated at the time that if the either of the sports' communities were able to raise enough financial support the sport could be reinstated. Wrestling was reinstated due to financial support from local civic leadership. Swimming has now followed the suit and will continue to be a varsity sport at Arizona State in 2008-09.
Love said that fundraising for the sport of men's swimming will be an ongoing process. The objective is not just to sponsor men's swimming as a varsity sport, but to position the sport as one of the top programs in the country.
The Sun Devil men's swimming team is a member of the Pacific-10 Conference.
Special thanks to Arizona State for contributing this report.