La Salle University Reinstates Men’s Swimming & Diving

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La Salle's University's Kirk Natatorium; Photo Courtesy: Instagram/@saveLSU_swimanddive

La Salle University has reinstated Men’s Swimming and Diving as a varsity program, effective immediately, the chair of La Salle’s Board of Trustees announced.

William W. Matthews, III, Esq., ’90, shared the following with the La Salle community in a May 3 message:

“Last fall, the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreation announced the difficult but necessary decision to reduce the number of La Salle’s intercollegiate athletics teams at the end of this academic year. This action better aligned the size of our department with those of national and conference peer institutions and followed a comprehensive review aimed at elevating our student-athlete experience and improving the competitiveness and quality of our programs.

“At the time of this announcement, and in the months that followed, department and University leadership have met with players, coaches, families, and alumni from the affected programs and have discussed an openness to – and a roadmap for – program reinstatement dependent upon key criteria, including the presentation of new and compelling information and meeting or exceeding required fundraising benchmarks by the conclusion of April.

“I am pleased to share that Men’s Swimming and Diving has been reinstated as a varsity program, effective immediately, following the Board of Trustees’ approval of a recommendation from the Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreation, which was then moved forward by the Board’s Athletics and Recreation Committee. The Men’s Swimming and Diving program and its alumni base has developed an independent and external fundraising infrastructure that will support the operational costs of the program in the short and long term. More specifically, the Men’s Swimming and Diving program raised the funds necessary to support the program and enhance the Division I student-athlete experience at La Salle. This measure aligns with our commitment to and compliance with all Title IX regulations, and the University will continue offering proportional participation opportunities for both male and female students. Additionally, the Board felt tremendous confidence in the reinstatement for Men’s Swimming and Diving due to existing efficiencies between it and the Women’s Swimming and Diving program, with which it shares a coaching staff, venue, and other resources.”

The La Salle University men’s swimming and diving team had been granted “a pathway to restore” the program, according to a letter to alumni sent out earlier this year.

The letter, shared with Swimming World, cited a “positive and productive dialogue” with La Salle president Colleen Hanycz, athletic director Brian Baptiste and Board of Trustees chair Bill Matthews. It lays out a plan for the reinstatement of the program contingent on short- and long-term fundraising objectives.

“The La Salle swimming & diving community has shown great passion, pride, and a commitment to the men’s program,” Baptiste said in the letter. “The willingness of the group to lead this effort shows a drive and determination to preserve the program. It may serve as an example for similar groups across the country, of the engagement needed to ensure sustainable, championship experiences for the sport of swimming.”

La Salle men’s swimming was cut in September, one of seven programs cut by the school, citing budget concerns. Men’s water polo was also cut, though women’s swimming and diving was spared at the time.

— The above press release was posted by Swimming World in conjunction with La Salle University. For press releases and advertising inquiries please contact Advertising@SwimmingWorld.com.

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