CINCINNATI, Ohio, March 19. THE University of Cincinnati made a big announcement today, reinstating full scholarships to three sports programs, including men's swimming and diving.
The university came under fire when it announced in 2009 that scholarships for men's cross country, men's track and field and men's swimming and diving would be cut in response to financial woes. In regards to swimming and diving, the announcement came during arguably the program's most successful season, as senior Josh Schneider won the 50 freestyle at the 2010 NCAA championships. At that meet, several Cincinnati alumni pledged to help save the program's scholarships, but were ultimately not successful enough to keep a full slate of scholarships. The men's team continued to exist alongside the fully-funded women's team, though swimmers were unable to get athletic scholarships.
“When I look at the number of swimming programs who have lost funding in the past 20 or 30 years, the list is massive,” said UC swimming head coach Monty Hopkins. “So many opportunities have been lost to young men in particular in swimming. Now, we're able to have an impact not just for the University of Cincinnati swimming, but an impact nationally, which is going to send a signal out that you can protect, expand, preserve if you're willing to have an ambitious agenda.”
The full scholarship allowance will return for the 2013-2014 season, the university announced in a press release. To obtain the necessary funds for the scholarships, the school is activating a “110% Campaign,” which will ask current athletics donors to give 10 percent more than their usual gift, and for first-time donors to contribute at least $110. Football head coach Tommy Tuberville has pledged $300,000 to helping the university reinstate the scholarships.
The UC men's team wrapped up the 2012-2013 season with a fifth-place finish at the Big East conference championships.