University of Rhode Island Pleads for Help

KINGSTON, Rhode Island. May 2. COACHES and swimmers are pleading for support as the swimming world faces the potential loss of yet another college swimming program. has received a letter from one of the swimmers asking for support and a plea for help from the swimming community. Additionally, the head coach of the Rams Swim Club is asking for support because the University of Rhode Island is a lifeline for that program. Both messages are as follows:

My name is Ryan Sheatsley and I am currently a sophomore at the University of Rhode Island. We recently found out that the university is considering cutting our swim program because of financial and title IX reasons. Rhode Island is having financial difficulties and is thus cutting funding to its state universities. This causes URI to cut back and of course, the firs thing to go is the sports. They are considering cutting 5 to 7 sports here at URI and it has all of us scrambling to do whatever we can to help us keep our swim program. We are trying to get whatever public support possible. Our entire swim team would greatly appreciate it if you would put something on the webpage. I plead for your help to let everyone know what the university is trying to do to our swim team. If the University choses to keep just the womens team but cut the mens, they are only saving a mere 20,000 dollars, less than one swimmers full tuition. Please help us in whatever way you can.

Thank you.
Ryan Sheatsley
URI Swimmer

To Whom it may concern,
I am writing to you both in an effort to help mobilize the national swimming community via your website in an effort to help save the URI Varsity Men's & Women's Swimming & Diving Teams from a budget cut.

Currently, I am the Senior Coach with the Rams Swim Club and Head Coach of the North Kingstown High School swim team. I have been able to see, first hand, over the last 6 years the growth of swimming in Rhode Island, especially around the URI Campus. Our club swim team swims out of URI and has gone from 30kids to close to 100. As I'm sure you know, the possibility for many of your swimmers to be able to someday swim at that level is what keeps them coming. Without the Varsity team I feel this will have a huge negative impact on the growth of the sport in Rhode Island.

What I am hoping is we can fight this off and be able to visit swimming websites and see a success story of a teams survival rather than another team falling victim to massive budget cuts (thanks to football) and title 9.

Please visit our website

And if possible post something up on your website so we could possibly gain even more support from the national college swimming community.

Thanks in advance for you help and again hopefully we can make this one of the success stories and show other universities that swimming will not go down without a fight!


Matt Emmert
Senior Coach
Rams Swim Club

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