PHOENIX, Arizona, November 18. ON today's edition of The Morning Swim Show, University of Maryland swimmers Matt Tynan and Anderson Sloan talk about the efforts and support behind saving the men's and women's swim teams there.
Tynan, a freshman, and Sloan, a sophomore, talk about how the possible cuts are affecting the teams, and whether they will stay with the university if the teams are cut. Watch the full show in the video player below and visit SwimmingWorld.TV for more video interviews.
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Show Transcript: (Note: This is an automated service where some typos and grammatical errors may occur.)
Peter Busch: This is the Morning Swim Show for Friday, November 18th, 2011. I'm your host Peter Busch. In the FINIS Monitor today we'll talk to Matt Tynan and Anderson Sloan. They both swim at the University of Maryland, where the swim programs are sadly in jeopardy of being cut. Matt and Anderson join us right now in the FINIS Monitor from College Park, Maryland. Hey, guys, welcome to the Morning Swim Show. How are you?
Anderson Sloan: Doing well. How are you, Peter?
Peter Busch: Good. I'm sorry we have to meet under this kind of sad circumstances. But let's start from when you guys were advised that this was a possibility that the programs were gonna be cut.
Anderson Sloan: I believe it was last Tuesday. Right before afternoon practice our athletic director had a meeting with us and kind of pulled in — pulled us in to a room and told us that this was a possibility that was being presented to the president of the university, and so we're kind of watching that play out.
Peter Busch: Matt, you're a freshman and I know there were some rumors about this last year. I'm curious. On your recruiting trip did you ask anyone about this possibility?
Matt Tynan: Yeah. I talked to all the coaches about the chance of this happening and a bunch of us talked to the athletic director. Anderson, actually, had some travel issues and he couldn't talk to them, but at that point the university was a hundred percent behind our program and, actually, all the coaches were extremely positive about where this program was headed.
Peter Busch: So the athletic director himself told you on your recruiting trip that, you know, he felt positive about the future of the swim team?
Matt Tynan: Yeah.
Peter Busch: Do you feel like he was being honest?
Matt Tynan: Yeah, we believed so.
Peter Busch: Now, Anderson, you're a sophomore but you're a transfer from Clemson whose program was also cut. So this is sort of the second slap in the face that you've experienced with this.
Anderson Sloan: Yeah, this is the second time I've had to kind of go through these emotions which is pretty unfortunate. But there seems to be a never-ending support network. We're getting tons of pictures just sending support from colleges nationwide. It is definitely a lot of help here, so we're trying to hold on.
Peter Busch: So what's the timeline going forward?
Matt Tynan: So the report came out today is given to the president about which teams are recommended to be cut and how that would affect the financial situation of the athletic department. The president, we are meeting — there are teams meeting with the president today to try to persuade him that, as a team, we are a really positive aspect to the university. And the president should be making a decision later this week or early next week about the situation.
Peter Busch: And what can you do in the meantime to convince him to raise money, I mean, what is already underway and what can you — what were you planning to do, Anderson?
Anderson Sloan: Basically, we have this meeting with the president, President Loh, in roughly an hour and we're going in as a team and we've kind of selected a couple spokespeople to talk to him and kind of present really attractive parts of our program — like the success of our program and our cumulative GPA, different things we've done in the community. And then we're also gonna kind of throw out there different possibilities of fundraisers in different ways that we could even fund our program if we had to, just anything to keep the program alive and a part of the university.
Peter Busch: What are the options for you two if they do cut the program? Anderson, would you transfer again?
Anderson Sloan. I'd prefer not go through that again. You know, I love it here, and it's kind of tough adjusting to everything again. But it's kind of something that I would assess when the time came. But for right now, I'm really just trying to stay completely committed to this school and this program and do everything we can here.
Peter Busch: And you, Matt?
Matt Tynan: Same as Anderson. I would like to stay here and stay in the program because staying — or at least in this year — it's been really positive about the team and we wanna keep it going strong. Unfortunately, some of us would probably have to transfer to keep our swimming at the place where we want to be.
Peter Busch: What other programs in the department were on this list of finalists to be cut?
Matt Tyson: Swimming, men's indoor and outdoor track, and cross country, women's water polo, aerobics, and tumbling, and men's tennis. So that's eight total.
Peter Busch. I'm curious. What happens within the department when they — I don't know if they're pitting the, you know, programs against each other. But I mean, when you bump in to somebody from one or the other, is there — everybody kind of feeling empathetic for each other or kind of, like, you know, I want you to go but not me? I mean, what's the vibe around the athletic department after they put you guys in this impossible position?
Matt Tynan: Well, a bunch of different teams have started Facebook groups like us to try to rally in bunch of supporters. A big thing from the university last year was that we're 27 sports and one team. So, right now, we're trying not to pit all the teams against each other, work as a force to let all the teams stay and be successful.
Anderson Sloan: Yeah, we live above, like, a couple track and golf guys and the track guys are kind of on the line as well. And, you know, we see those guys every single day and then in study hall and stuff. We all have gotten to know each other really well and so it's more of a let's try and save all the programs than point fingers at what could go instead of us.
Peter Busch: All right, so if people want to find your Facebook page, just search Maryland swimming? How are they gonna find you guys and try and rally support for you?
Anderson Sloan: Save Maryland Swimming and Diving is the Facebook group or Save UMD Swimming and Diving. And then we actually have a website savemarylandswimming.org.
Peter Busch: Well, guys, we'll do anything we can to help you out so just let us know and we want to encourage everybody to keep a close eye on this and, if it comes time to financially support to help save the team, and we'll do anything we can guys. Thank you very much for joining us. Good luck in your talk with the president.
Anderson Sloan: Yeah, thank you very much.
Peter Busch: All right, that's Matt Tynan and Anderson Sloan joining us from the University of Maryland. Sure hope that those guys can keep swimming at Maryland. Well, that is it for today's show. I'm Peter Busch reminding you to keep your head down at the finish.
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