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Students, Parents Appeal To MSU Trustees To Keep Swimming & Diving Program Afloat

olympic sized pool
MSU Athletics
Michigan State University announced on Oct. 22 that it will discontinue its 99-year-old swimming and diving program at the end of the 2020-21 season.

The Michigan State University Board of Trustees met Friday for the first time since announcing plans to discontinue the school’s historic swimming and diving program. 


The MSU Swimming and Diving program is in its 99th year, and it’s all but certain not to celebrate its centennial. 

On October 22, MSU announced it would cut the program in 2021, citing the financial hit from the COVID-19 pandemic as a deciding factor. 

At Friday’s trustees meeting, several people spoke out to defend the program, including junior Madeline Reilly.

“You’re cutting a group of strangers from all over the world that have come together and quickly become a family,” Reilly says.  “You’re cutting a network of alumni who’d be willing to do anything for this program.”

Reilly proposed a recreation fee built into student tuition as a means of funding the program. 

MSU President Samuel Stanley Jr. says he stands by the decision.

“It’s a very difficult one and my heart goes out to the swimmers and divers,” says Stanley.  “But again, we have to look at programs during this time; we have to look at budgets.  We really don’t have a choice.”

Several trustees say they’re listening to students’ concerns, but add they can’t promise to restore the swimming and diving program. 








Kevin Lavery served as a general assignment reporter and occasional local host for Morning Edition and All Things Considered before retiring in 2023.
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