Iowa State: A Mother’s Lament

By Barb Reese

I have just finished reading the Editor's Note in SWIMMING WORLD on the demise of Kansas swimming and wanted to quickly address the following situation.

Quite literally, at this very moment, the Iowa State Men's Swim Team is meeting with Athletic Director, Bruce Van De Velde, to receive notice of the possible
cancelation of their program.

Like the program at KU, This is also a 70-80 year old program that has brought nothing but pride and dignity to the University. The current team has a collective GPA of over 3.1 and a senior GPA of 3.9! They have more NCAA Academic All Americans than any team on campus.

Athletically, they rank in the Top 25 nationally and just finished a strong showing at NCAAs.

The boys were shell-shocked with the news on Tuesday of last week. Much like Kansas, they were told finances were the issue. They have the lowest
operating budget of any varsity sport on campus. It is strange and befuddling as 3 Big-12 schools have announced cuts in their programs within weeks of each other.

Nebraska, which also claims budget woes, is really hard to figure out as they have an athletic budget of approximately 38 million dollars (I wouldn't want that AD to be my financial planner) Quite honestly, I feel Nebraska is just opting for an out so as not have to deal with upcoming NCAA sanctions.

They also cited an aging facility….one their women's team will continue to use.

At Iowa State, we also were given no warning or chance to solicit alumni support. I am an Iowa State alumna and a parent of a current Iowa State swimmer. I was never informed of any impending danger for the program.(Funny, they just were able to get enough alumni support to raise Larry Eustashy's salary)

This is a valuable program at Iowa State that the state of Iowa can not afford to lose as it is a program that attracts top-notch students to the state that without swimming would not be there. We have a very active group of swimming alumni who are active in the fight to save this program.

Please contact James Zenk at jameszenk@yahoo.com for a
more detailed description of what has been done up to this point.

My son and his teammates are devastated and as an alumna of Iowa State I feel I've been kicked in the teeth.

Help us to not make our university sports programs
merely a training ground for the NFL and the NBA! Diversity is the key to excellence!

Respectfully,
Barb Reese
Humble, TX

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