Date: August 29, 2009 9:51:38 AM PDT
To: Curt Wilson <curtis.wilson@cox.net>
Subject: UCI-Save Swimming and Diving

 
Excerpt From a UCI press release July 29, 2009:
 
UCI to discontinue Men's and Women's Diving and Swimming
 
IRVINE, Calif. --- UC Irvine Intercollegiate Athletics, faced with cost-cutting measures due to the state economic crisis, is discontinuing several of its sports programs, effective Aug. 1, 2009. 
 
The five affected sports are men's and women's swimming and diving, men's and women's rowing, and sailing.
 
 
The above is an excerpt that was announced about an hour after I was informed that the Men's and Women's Swimming and Diving programs would be dropped immediately from University of California, Irvine. I have been the head diving coach at UC Irvine for the past 9 seasons and in that time we have maintained an extremely successful program that has already enjoyed a rich history of alumni of some of the best divers in the country and the world including several Olympians and inarguably the greatest diver of all time, Greg Louganis.
 
UCI is the only Division 1 school for swimming and diving in Orange County and only one of 7 Division 1 Men's diving programs in the entire State of California. When a swimming and diving program disappears for whatever reason it affects everyone that is involved in those sports in a very real and profound way. Athletes, parents, coaches, etc. have opportunity and choices restricted. Interest, available outlets, and visibility are dramatically diminished which can sharply reduce the number of new athletes exposed and drawn to these unique and exhilarating Age Group, High School, Junior Olympic, Collegiate and Olympic sports. It is of critical importance to not allow this or any Swimming and Diving program to be discontinued.
 
I cannot think of another division 1 program that has been dropped 6 weeks before the start of the new school year. What choice does this offer an incoming freshman that made the difficult decision to choose where they want to receive their education and a place that fits their training objectives? Or the Senior, hoping to finish their final year without looking to find a fit for classes already taken and a swimming and diving program that can support and encourage the seniorís goals. 
 
Both Swimming and Diving teams are not going down without a fight. A nonprofit organization, Anteater Swimming and Diving Foundation (ASDF), has been formed by the swimmers and divers, interested alumni and the community to help raise funds to reinstate the programs. The word is already spreading throughout the swimming and diving community here in Southern California. KTLA news covered the initial meeting that was held between alumni, swimmers and divers, coaches and interested people from the community. They also had interviews with Jeff Hoskinson, President of the ASDF and Brian Pajer, the UCI Head Coach of both men's and women's teams. These interviews were aired on the news last week to help spread awareness about the program cuts. Several newspapers have also expressed interest in helping the cause and spreading the word.
 
There are two ways that you can help. One, by getting the word out and getting as much media attention as possible to let the powers that be know that swimming and diving are sports that matter to our community and to our taxpayers. Two, by helping to raise the necessary funds to approach the UCI Athletic Director to show that there is community support for these programs in a major way. Our immediate goal is to raise enough money to cover operating costs to reinstate both Men's and Women's swimming and diving for the upcoming season and current school year. This is a completely realistic and achievable goal that has several successful precedents from other university programs that have flourished out of similar trying times. It will take immediate and tangible action to save this program and more importantly to save the impact, option and visibility that our sports offer to all of those who have been and will be involved in these life guiding and life changing endeavors.
 
I have included our website and an attachment for any donations. Any amount you can donate is a definite way to make your support proactive and cast a vote for the importance and continuance of collegiate swimming and diving programs not just at UCI, but globally. Your support is genuinely appreciated.
 
to watch the KCAL Channel 9 report on what is going on at UCI
 go to "www.youtube.com" and type in "UCI-Save Swimming and Diving" 
 
 
Sincerely,
 
 
Curt Wilson
Former Head Diving Coach UCI
President, Professional Diving Coaches Association

 
 

=