Saturday, January 27, 2007

Oh My Gosh: Ohio U Bobcats -- CUT Men's SWIMMING -- Worst cut since, .. well ... PAT's cuts

This stinks.

Update from the OU Swim Coach:

Dear Swimming & Diving friends and family:

First let me take this opportunity to thank you for your phone calls, voice messages, e-mails and letters. Your support is amazing and has not gone unappreciated. I would also like to apologize for this informal e-mail and for not getting back to the majority of you. I simply do not have enough time in the day to do so. Hopefully I will in the near future.

Well the rumors have been swirling for sometime now and unfortunately they have proven to be true. Men's Swimming & Diving, Men's Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field and Women's Lacrosse are the latest victims in this nationwide epidemic. I am not going to go into the exact reasons why; however, a complete transcript can be found at Basically, financial and gender equity issues were cited.

There seems to be a few inconsistencies in the rationale, enough that I believe we can fight this decision. It is my opinion that other strategies were not thoroughly visited before this option of last resort was chosen. Whether or not this decision can be reversed or not remains to be seen; however, I have given the current team (men and women) my pledge that I will fight it. At the same time I give my pledge to all of you as you have earned it.

I have already enacted a plan that includes current team members, alumni, parents, faculty and industry specialists that have been involved on other campuses. This plan is still in the infantile stages, but is becoming much more aggressive each and every day. I will be contacting many of you and asking for your assistance as you are a critical element in the reinstatement of this storied program.

STRATEGIES - We have a few options here.

Gender Equity must be addressed and can via roster management techniques, fundraising and endowment. We are currently 137 female student-athletes short of compliance with the proportionality prong of Title IX. We can reduce the size of ALL men's programs and increase the size of ALL women's programs to meet in the middle or we can add 137 women (more expensive and less likely). We can also fund raise to cover operating budgets and scholarships (another prong of Title IX). The last, most secure and ideal option is to endow the programs. I say "endow the PROGRAMS" as it does us no good to only endow the men's program. We must endow the men and the women to keep the men.

Fiscal adherence is another consideration as a projected $4,000,000.00 accumulated deficit could be realized by the end of this fiscal year. Regardless if Swimming and Diving is or is not responsible for this deficit, it is still present and present due to philosophical priorities that did not and do not include Men's Swimming & Diving. Annually covering our own expenses is a theory but endowment is the key to this option. Accountability to those areas that got us into the red (and those individuals responsible to ensure accountability) is necessary for the future well being of the entire Athletic Department.

Posturing and marketing of our program is another strategic consideration. If we can show that Swimming & Diving is more integral to the academic, athletic and fiscal mission of the Athletic Department and to the university than other sports, then we could possibly save our sport. Obviously this option is not desired or popular as it simply replaces Men's Swimming & Diving with another sport.



Please refrain from personal attacks or comparisons with other programs. We will not win in this scenario. It is natural to do so, to want to identify a villain or to give blame. But remember, the same people that we are asking to reverse their decision are the very ones we are insulting and attacking. In order for us to be reinstated we must rely on facts and logic. Additionally we must become unified and streamlined. The gnat theory works for only so long and then it becomes annoying and will make the administration defensive. Use your time and energy to gather support and commitment from your former teammates, family and friends. I will come calling in the near future and ask for your collective support. Our goal is to get a "stay of execution" so to speak and to be provided with the option to utilize one of the previously listed strategies. BE READY AND WILLING!

I will be forming committees that will streamline, spearhead and represent our communication. I will also ask a few of you to lead in the endowment project as well as an operational fundraising option. The marketing and posturing option will need a few leaders as well.

Money does talk on college campuses and I appreciate all of your past, present and future support. We must show that we are active and influential in this area.

Thank you for your patience and support and please feel free to make any suggestions or communicate any concerns.


Greg Werner
Head Coach
Ohio Swimming & Diving

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