UMass Dartmouth Cuts Men’s and Women’s Swimming, Among Eight Programs Axed

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UMass Dartmouth announced Wednesday that men’s and women’s swimming and diving are among eight varsity athletic program to be cut. The decision is reportedly not related to coronavirus budget reductions.

The programs cut include women’s equestrian, men’s golf, men’s lacrosse, co-ed sailing and men’s and women’s tennis. The cuts are effective immediately and affect a total of 94 students.

“Although these changes will serve UMass Dartmouth Athletics and its student body well for years to come, I cannot begin to imagine the sense of loss our student-athletes must feel at this moment. I want them to know that this decision in no way reflects their tremendous contribution to our University,” Chancellor Robert E. Johnson said in a statement. “It is because of these contributions – not just on the field – but in the classrooms, labs, and in the community that makes our student-athletes such valuable members of our community.”

The decision was the product of “multiple reviews over the past decade” as part of a long-term strategic plan for the university. The school has committed to reinvest the savings into the remaining 17 athletic programs. That number is more in line with most Division III colleges.

“Though the review and subsequent actions taken on the future of intercollegiate athletics was needed, I am deeply saddened by having to discontinue sponsorship of these programs,” Athletic Director Amanda Van Voorhis said. “The implementation of this action now will allow our department to work within a sustainable financial model going forward, and we will continue to provide the best possible experience for our student-athletes.”

The news comes a day after the Corsairs swimming teams were both recognized as CSCAA Scholar All-America Honorees.

The decision has left swimmers scrambling, and it’s a particularly difficult double-whammy for incoming freshmen who’ve just seen the end of their high school careers affected.

“I don’t understand how they determine that one child’s athletic ambitions are less important than somebody else’s,” Lori Dumont, whose son Aaron Dumont was set to swim for the Corsairs in the fall, told WPRI.com. “It just seems just kind of unfair that they get to take money from one program and add funding to another.”

UMass Dartmouth joins at least six other programs to have dropped swimming in recent months: Boise State, Connecticut, East Carolina and Western Illinois in Division I; Tiffin and Urbana in Division II.

16 comments

  1. Julie Gorske

    Chris Woolridge – I suppose you heard this already?

  2. Ray Mcfall

    Grrr. He doesn’t look happy about it either…☹️

    • Doug Sheils

      Diana Terry Bolding This is terrible. I am very fearful for the future of not only college swimming, but youth swimming and the future of U.S Olympic Swimming. If this becomes the norm, the damage can be awful and far-reaching. Thousands of hard-working student athletes will be robbed of opportunity.

    • Diana Terry Bolding

      Doug Sheils I agree I have a son that a junior in HS that wants to swim in college

  3. Kimberly O

    Truly, the future of the sport is at stake—from cabana to Olympic level.

    Is COVID-19 affecting any other sports besides swim?

  4. My son was supposed to swim there this fall. The decision is not covid related, swim is not viewed as something that will have a positive impact on the campus. Read it as, they do not bring money to the school, so they are worthless. They are taking the swim and dive money and reallocating it to other more valued sports.

  5. Amanda Clark Scheel

    “The savings realized because of these changes will be strategically allocated”….. “This is not a cost-cutting measure “…. Shame on you @UMass Dartmouth

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