Eastern Michigan Cut The Men's Swimming Program, Here's What Students Have To Say About It

Eastern Michigan Cut The Men's Swimming Program, Here's What Students Have To Say About It

The most decorated athletic team on campus gets dropped due to budget cuts
1945
views

The men’s swim team at Eastern Michigan University woke up to some devastating news Tuesday morning. Tuesday, March 20 at 7:30 it was announced that the university would be cutting the men’s swimming and diving program due to budget cuts.

The university is also cutting the wrestling, softball, and women’s tennis teams, reducing the number of varsity sports from 21 to 17. This decision will affect 58 male students and 25 female students while saving the university about $2.4 million.

The men’s swim team is the most decorated team on campus with 34 MAC titles since the program started, winning conference 3 out of the last 4 years. Students are devastated and have turned to social media as an attempt to save the program. They want their voices to be heard.


The men and women's teams have come together to attempt to raise money to save the program and are using the hashtag #SaveEMUSwimandDive to get it going viral.

Many students blame the football program. The budget cuts were made shortly after the announcement of a new $35 million practice facility that is being built for the football and soccer teams.

Memes have also been created about the issue to draw in more attention via social media.

Perhaps the most important voices that need to be heard are those of the student-athletes this decision is affecting. Years of hard work are being torn from these athletes without any say. Many students will likely have to transfer to continue their athletic career.

As a swimmer myself who even looked into swimming at Eastern Michigan, I cannot help but feel passionate about the issue. Not only is this affecting the student-athletes at EMU, but the entire swimming and athletic community at Eastern. How is it justified to punish the most decorated athletic program on campus after years of success? How is it justified to drastically alter their futures after a lifetime of hard work?

Swimming is already a sport that does not get the respect and recognition that it deserves. It may not be as entertaining to watch to the average person as football or basketball, but the sport is just as important to just as many people. It deserves the same respect as any other sport.

The football team does not deserve any special treatment just because they tackle each other and throw balls.

This is not the first men's swim team to be cut recently. University of Buffalo, Wright State, and University of North Dakota have all announced the cutting of swimming programs in recent seasons.

We need swimmers. The world needs swimming. The sport needs to continue to grow, not to shrink. We cannot continue to have events like this happen.

Let's stop treating average football players as if they are royalty, and let's start rewarding those who actually deserve it.

If you are interested in helping to save the men's swimming program at EMU, please take a few seconds and sign the petition here or consider donating.

Cover Image Credit: Alyssa Shugarman

Popular Right Now

To The Coach Who Ruined The Game For Me

We can't blame you completely, but no one has ever stood up to you before.
467713
views

I know you never gave it a second thought, the idea that you're the reason I and many others, never went any farther in our athletic careers.

I know you didn’t sincerely care about our mental health, as long as we were physically healthy and our bodies were working enough to play. It’s obvious your calling wasn’t coaching and you weren’t meant to work with young adults, some who look to you as a parent figure or a confidant.

I also know that if we were to express our concerns about the empty feeling we began to feel when we stepped onto the court, you wouldn’t have taken the conversation seriously because it wasn’t your problem.

I know we can't blame you completely, no one has ever stood up to you before. No one said anything when girls would spend their time in the locker room crying because of something that was said or when half the team considered quitting because it was just too much.

We can't get mad at the obvious favoritism because that’s how sports are played.

Politics plays a huge role and if you want playing time, you have to know who to befriend. We CAN get mad at the obvious mistreatment, the empty threats, the verbal abuse, “it's not what you say, its how you say it.”

We can get mad because a sport that we loved so deeply and had such passion for, was taken away from us single-handedly by an adult who does not care. I know a paycheck meant more to you than our wellbeing, and I know in a few years you probably won’t even remember who we are, but we will always remember.

We will remember how excited we used to get on game days and how passionate we were when we played. How we wanted to continue on with our athletic careers to the next level when playing was actually fun. We will also always remember the sly remarks, the obvious dislike from the one person who was supposed to support and encourage us.

We will always remember the day things began to change and our love for the game started to fade.

I hope that one day, for the sake of the young athletes who still have a passion for what they do, you change.

I hope those same athletes walk into practice excited for the day, to get better and improve, instead of walking in with anxiety and worrying about how much trouble they would get into that day. I hope those athletes play their game and don’t hold back when doing it, instead of playing safe, too afraid to get pulled and benched the rest of the season.

I hope they form an incredible bond with you, the kind of bond they tell their future children about, “That’s the coach who made a difference for me when I was growing up, she’s the reason I continued to play.”

I don’t blame you for everything that happened, we all made choices. I just hope that one day, you realize that what you're doing isn’t working. I hope you realize that before any more athletes get to the point of hating the game they once loved.

To the coach that ruined the game for me, I hope you change.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

4 Things I Learned Growing Up Playing Sports With Boys

Playing two different sports throughout my life with mostly guys has been both scary and rewarding.

60
views

Recently, I joined a taekwondo class at the local YMCA. It wasn't quite as daunting as some may think. My taekwondo career began about seven years ago, and this school is associated with my school back home. It was familiar to me, almost like I was still taking classes back home. The most familiar thing is that I'm still one of the only females in the class. While I was never the only female in taekwondo class back home, no other girls or women stuck around in class during the seven years.

Taekwondo isn't the first male-dominated sport that I've participated in. Being an athlete has been part of my identity since the age of 6. My love for sports started when my dad introduced me to the Seattle Mariners. I played Little League baseball for five years and I was the only girl for four of those years. While I was never in the top of the batting lineup or played the coolest positions, I still had a successful baseball career.

Comparing these two sports has never been something that I've thought deeply about until I joined the new taekwondo class. It makes sense to do so since they've both played significant roles in my life.

Here are four things that I've experienced while participating in male-dominated sports.

1. I've been told to do "girl pushups" too many times.

I experienced this mostly while playing baseball. No one ever tried to stop me from playing baseball, but there were times where I was singled out and told to "adjust" the workout because they attributed my struggle to the fact that I'm a girl.

2. People have been surprised at my capabilities.

There have been multiple instances where I made a play or scored a point while sparing a guy. How I made the play or scored always seemed routine to me, but I've had people come up to me and were stunned at what they just saw me, a girl, do. In my more recent memory, I was sparing a guy for our belt test. I scored on him with a spinning hook kick, which was routine for me. He gasped in shock. After the test, the same guy came up to me and said, "That kick was amazing!" and shook my hand. It wasn't until my instructor pointed out to me that he probably hasn't spared very many women at a brown belt level that I realized that he was genuinely shocked.

3. Personal doubt is chronic.

I'm aware that I shouldn't compare myself to others, but the fact that I'm surrounded by mostly guys is really daunting. Using gender to fuel my doubt is such a cop out, but it's a reality I'm sure that other females experience, both in sports and in the real world. Even though I've proven to myself multiple times that I have the capability to compete against guys, the stereotypes still get to me after all this time.

4. Many people want to see me succeed.

I've been blessed with having supportive coaches and instructors. They've been sympathetic to the fact that it's hard to be different and that it's not easy having to represent other females in the sport. One of the reasons why I was able to play baseball for so long and continue to push towards getting my black belt in taekwondo is the fact that my coaches and instructors were always there to help improve my technique and make me stronger.

I'm glad that I experienced and continue to experience participating in male-dominated sports. It's taught me to be strong and to not give up if my opponent has certain advantages over me. I encourage other women and girls to participate in male-dominated sports. It's not easy but rewarding when you succeed.

Related Content

Facebook Comments