Sunday, October 24, 2021

Decision to end swim and dive programs remains following $32 million commitment to athletics

February 5, 2021
<p>Then-sophomore Lauren Biglin swims during the meet against Cleveland State on Jan. 24, 2020, at McCaffree Pool. The Spartans defeated the Vikings, 163.5-135.5.</p>

Then-sophomore Lauren Biglin swims during the meet against Cleveland State on Jan. 24, 2020, at McCaffree Pool. The Spartans defeated the Vikings, 163.5-135.5.

Photo by Matt Schmucker | The State News

The decision to end Michigan State University’s swim and dive programs after this season will remain in effect following the receipt of a $32 million commitment to benefit MSU athletics, Athletic Director Bill Beekman said in a press conference Friday.

Men’s basketball alumnus Mat Ishbia, who committed the $32 million to the program, said the goal is to make sure this gift touches every student-athlete at MSU — past, present and future.

Of Ishbia’s commitment, $2 million will go into creating the Spartan For Life Fund to serve as a spring board for student-athletes to find employment after graduation.

The program, Ishbia said, will connect all MSU student-athletes to a great network of people and make a better reality for them regardless of the sport they played or what they did.

“As Mat so eloquently said, part of his vision has been to affect all of our student-athletes, past, present and future, and so for our swimming student-athletes that either are currently with us and decide to stay with us to finish their degrees, the Spartan For Life Fund and program that we’re starting will obviously be a great benefit to all student-athletes, including our swimmers and divers,” Beekman said.

Since Oct. 22, 2020, when the athletic department announced the decision the decision to end the men and women’s swim and dive programs, many have spoken out fighting for the programs to remain in place. 

At the time of the announcement, Beekman cited financial strains on the athletic department due to COVID-19 with a revenue shortfall of up to $30 million this year.

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