Flash Cincinnati Announces Phase Out of Men’s Swimming and Diving Financial Aid – Updated

Updated April 8 afternoon with extended explanation from Cincinnati

CINCINNATI, Ohio, April 8. ACCORDING to a press release distributed to the media, the University of Cincinnati has elected to phase out financial aid for the men's swimming and diving programs along with men's track and field/cross country teams beginning this year.

Here is the full press release:

The University of Cincinnati Department of Athletics will phase out financial aid from its men's swimming and diving and men's track & field/cross country teams beginning in the fall of 2009, Director of Athletics Mike Thomas announced today.

The change in funding will take place over the next four years, until all existing financial aid commitments are fulfilled to current UC student-athletes participating in these sports. All commitments to prospective student-athletes who have signed National Letters of Intent will also be honored.

As a result of these proactive moves, UC Athletics will save more than $400,000 annually once all aid is transitioned. The savings will assist the department to move towards a balanced budget.

"As the Director of Athletics it is my responsibility to the University to maintain a competitive program while being both fiscally responsible and proactive in strategizing for the long term success of Bearcats Athletics" said Thomas.

"This was a very difficult decision, but one we felt we had to make in this difficult economic climate. While scholarship funding will be eliminated for these sports, the teams themselves, and their complement of coaches, will continue at UC, leaving open the opportunity that at some point in the future, financial aid could return."

The University of Cincinnati has since contacted Swimming World to state that the men's swimming and diving program is not being "cut".

"We're not phasing out funding for the men's swimming program, just financial aid," Cincinnati Associate Director of Sports Communications Ryan Koslen said. "The program will still be competing and funded. There is hope that in the future, that the aid status will change in a better economic climate."