Spartan swim and dive teams continue battle against Michigan State
EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Members of the Michigan State University swim and dive teams are battling the school to be reinstated.
It comes after both the men’s and women’s programs were abruptly eliminated in October 2020. Since then, several supporters have stepped to the plate to help them plead their case to the school.
The group “Battle for Spartan Swim and Dive” is submitting a proposal to Michigan State University to reinstate the swim and dive teams. The group is mainly comprised of swim and dive alumni.
News 10 talked to the group to find out what exactly they’re bringing to the table.
“Those swimmers did this on their own because they want to compete,” said Mindy Arbaugh, a Class of 1996 graduate. “They want to swim and represent their university. That’s why they came to Michigan State.”
Arbaugh was referring to the group of Spartan Club swimmers and divers who won a national championship earlier this year, even without a coach.
According to the swim and dive alumna who has been working to get the program reinstated, one of the reasons cited for dismantling the program was their lack of competitiveness.
“There are 21 swimmers still on campus ready to compete,” said Arbaugh. “They proved they’re serious by going out and training and winning this national title at the club level.”
Arbaugh, along with several swim and dive alumni, has been working tirelessly to put together a reinstatement proposal to bring back the program.
According to former Athletic Director Bill Beekman, a big part of the reason for cutting the program was the large price tag associated with improving their facilities.
For a while, Arbaugh and her group tried to defend the reasons why the IM West facilities were sufficient.
But that all changed after the MSU Board of Trustees approved a new health and wellness center in December.
“Included in those plans is a 50-meter swimming pool,” said Arbaugh. “We are now looking at ‘look, now you guys have a new facility coming. how can we support that effort and make it a home for our varsity swim and dive teams?’”
According to Arbaugh, the group has secured a number of donors to fund the program which will help to relieve that burden on the school.
However, many of those donors say they won’t be giving their collective $10.5 million until the school reinstates the program for both the men’s and women’s teams.
News 10 reached out to MSU for comment but did not get a response. Members of the women’s swim and dive team, who are suing the school for a Title IX violation, are due back in court on Thursday for a preliminary injunction.
News 10 will keep following this story and keep you posted on any developments.
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