By Phillip Whitten
PHOENIX, July 12. Swimming World, SWIM Magazine and swiminfo.com announced the formation today of a Legal Defense Team to assist in the fight to save college swim programs threatened with elimination.
(This action is in addition to the "How to Save Your Swim Program" booklet we are writing and producing in conjunction with USA Swimming and the College Swimming Coaches Association of America. The booklet will be available in September and will be distributed to all college swimming coaches and other interested parties.)
We are asking for attorneys across the nation to volunteer their services pro bono to defend threatened swim programs. The Legal Defense Team will provide these attorneys with assistance, including all relevant successful case law. In that way, we can maximize the strength and expertise of hundreds of lawyers around the country.
If you are an attorney and are interested in volunteering to join the team, please contact me at: SwimPhil@aol.com.
Our sport needs your help! Please volunteer your time and expertise.
Judge Jones to Head Team
The Legal Defense Team will be headed by Judge Michael Jones, 50, of Pelham, NH, a trial court judge in the state of New Hampshire and a tenured professor of law at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, where he teaches courses in sports and entertainment law.
Judge Jones is author of several books including, most recently, Sports Law, published in 1999 by Simon and Schuster. Upon accepting the position, Judge Jones commented: "This is an issue of equity and fairness for all. We are absolutely supportive of women’s sports, but we take issue with cutting men’s sports to meet the legal requirements of Title IX. Addition by subtraction is not acceptable."
Judge Jones is a Masters swimmer. As a youngster he swam for the Arden Hills Swim Club in Sacramento, under Sherm Chavoor. He swam collegiately at Dennison University and the University of Miami. The judge is also an accomplished painter.
In other news:
* In response to a letter by Dale Neuburger, President of USA Swimming, Sandy Baldwin, President of the USOC, and Scott Blackmun, Acting Executive Director of the USOC, have expressed a great deal of interest in taking action to help endanger collegiate Olympic sports. A conference in Colorado Springs has tentatively been scheduled for September, though no sspecific dates have been set yet.
* Donna Lopiano, head of the Women's Sports Foundation, has also expressed her interested in helping endangered Olympic sports. Lopiano has long been outspoken in support of equity in sport.