College of Charleston Officially Cuts Swimming and Diving

CHARLESTON – With news breaking yesterday that the College of Charleston was considering cutting the swimming and diving programs following this season, the athletics department decided to cut the cord quickly and announce the elimination officially today in a letter posted from Director of Athletics Joe Hull.

It is with great regret that I announce that the College of Charleston will no longer have NCAA Division I men’s and women’s swimming and diving programs after the 2014-15 season. Additionally, the 40-year-old Stern Center pool will close after the spring 2015 semester.

The worst thing I have to do as an athletics director is to tell student-athletes they will no longer be able to compete for their current university.

We will honor all scholarship commitments to our swimming and diving student-athletes. If they choose to transfer to another school, we will grant a release, which will enable them to compete during the 2015-16 season (there is no requirement that student-athletes sit out a year if they transfer).

This decision was made following a comprehensive, year-long study. The pool, which was built in 1974-75 and updated in 2000, is in poor condition and requires maintenance nearly weekly. Just replacing the specialized HVAC system would cost $1.5 million. It was concluded that the financial costs to maintain and repair the facilities were too much to overcome.

The athletics department and College administration will provide access to recreational and competitive swimming. The College is currently working with the City of Charleston to use its facilities, one of which is in downtown Charleston. This downtown pool is currently used by the city’s Southern Marlins Racing Team (SMRT), which is affiliated with USA Swimming, and is home to a U.S. Master’s swimming team.

Unfortunately, the cutting of the NCAA Division I swimming and diving programs is part of the financial realities that are being faced by athletics departments across the country. These financial challenges could increase in the future with the new NCAA governance structure.

Ending our programs was not a decision we took lightly, and we understand the impact to our student-athletes and coaches.

I would like to thank Interim Head Coach Bora Yatagan for the work he has done at the College of Charleston. I would also like to thank the current and former student-athletes who have been a part of the 40-year swimming and diving history at the College of Charleston. They have represented the best values of collegiate athletics and have, season after season, done the College proud.

Sincerely,

Joe Hull
Director of Athletics
College of Charleston

Since news first broke of the pending cuts, the swimming Twittersphere has been on fire supporting the program via the hashtag #SaveCofCSwimandDive.

Additionally, a petition has been created that already is nearly at 5,000 supporters with some heavy hitters like Rowdy Gaines and Bob Bowman having signed.

3 comments

  1. avatar
    teach93

    What could have possibly changed in 24 hrs? Please read the facilities page of the school website. The swimming facility was named for a former C of C president who lived to be 100, died last year, admitted the first African American student in the sixties, and was an Olympic Swimmer! It seems clear that this has been in the plans for a while, and was put in motion upon the death of Theodore Stern. Do the scholarship athletes have any recourse?

  2. avatar
    HFSC

    Is it true that the College of Charleston Swim/Dive program is their largest program in number of athletes and yet the second lowest in budget on the campus? Is this decision really about money?

  3. avatar
    Gwen

    Please view video and sign petition, send letters and emails! Thank you!

    Go Cougs!