EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — The Michigan State Board of Trustees is changing its tone on the school’s shuttered swimming and diving program.
While no official decision was made at today’s Board of Trustees meeting regarding the swim and dive team, the board announced that Athletic Director Allan Haller is working on a plan for the team within the next academic year.
“I know you didn’t get what you wanted today, but I have continued to vow that I am not giving up on this,” said MSU Trustee Kelly Tebay.
The university’s decision to discontinue its swimming and diving team in October 2020 has been the subject of a lawsuit and controversy on campus.
“We trained and competed on our own, and still won a national championship at the club title last April. All the while, our alumni base has raised more than $10 million in the last two years,” said MSU swimmer Travis Nitkiewicz.
“Right now, I’m supposed to be starting my senior year on the swim and dive team. I’m supposed to be training for what is my last year competing for the green and white,” said MSU swimmer Sophia Balow. “Instead, I’m here today repeating our two-year-old ask.”
“I feel that Michigan State really didn’t help, too much, really support us after they had, you know, taken away everything that all of us had worked for our whole lives,” said MSU swimmer Peter Corsetti.
The Board of Trustees has been mostly steadfast in its stance on not reinstating the swimming and diving team, but today’s meeting showed the board taking a different tone.
After a series of passionate public remarks by members of the swim team and its supporters, board member Melanie Foster said that the board is requesting a report from Haller in regard to the university’s plan for its athletic programs.
Foster stated following the report and its subsequent dialogue, the university will prepare a response to the swim and dive team and its advocates by the end of the semester.
“The board remains committed to listening to all constituents. We have heard swim and dive students, alumni and parents, and the greater Spartan community,” Foster said. “AD Haller will work together to strategize a plan forward for the team within the next academic year.”