Former Michigan State University diver and member of the 1992 U.S. Olympic team Julie Farrell-Ovenhouse will speak during public participation at the Board of Trustees meeting on Wednesday, addressing the elimination of the men’s and women’s swimming and diving programs after the 2020-21 season.
In an Oct. 22 release, Athletic Director Bill Beekman and MSU President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. cited an inability to support the athletes with the resources at hand and emphasized the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. At that time, the department projected a best-case-scenario shortfall of more than $30 million in revenue this school year.
Farrell-Ovenhouse, a two-time NCAA champion who brought home four Big Ten titles, six All-American honors and three-time MSU female athlete of the year, will discuss the vital role of the MSU diving team in her success, according to a release Monday.
The MSU men’s swimming and diving program is entering its 99th season this year, while the women’s team enters its 51st. According to the release, the combined programs are one of the least expensive of MSU’s 23 varsity programs, comprising just 1% of the athletic department budget and serving more than 8% of student-athletes. Last year, 43 of MSU’s 97 winter sport Academic All-Big Ten honorees were swimmers and divers, the release said.
The Board of Trustees meeting will take place at 10 a.m. on Wednesday via Zoom.
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