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Student athletes rally to save sports at UNCW

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Bill Rinehart helped organize Wednesday's "Call to Action" on the UNCW campus. Rinehart is passionate about keeping current sports teams on campus intact. "We love Wilmington. We love the community and the athletic department and we love the alumni and this is what this is all about," Rinehart said. "This is a galvanizing movement to stand strong, stay together in unity and fight for what's right and fight for the future of UNCW."

Five sports at UNCW are on the chopping block. This includes men's and women's swimming. Cyrus Hashemi is a freshman swimmer at UNCW. "As a swimmer on the swim team we've all tried to sit around to think about it, but we're not in control at all. All we can do is try to be positive to try and show Chancellor Miller why we should keep the swim team," said Hashemi. Dave Allen is the head coach at UNCW for swimming. He's determined to do whatever it takes to keep swimming afloat on campus. "I've always maintained all my life that when a problem arises you need try to come up with a solution to that problem," Allen said. "You don't drop a problem in someone's lap and just walk away and leave it for them to solve. I think there are solutions, but I'm asking for a dialogue so we can sit down and have that conversation and I think there are some solutions without cutting sports."

Dave Allen should know. He started the UNCW swimming and diving program 36 years ago but this not just a swimming issue. It's indoor track, men's cross country and softball too. UNCW softball shortstop Camry Wagner can't believe what's transpired over the last week. Wagner told us "Every day we go out and wear UNCW across our chests. We have faith in UNCW and all we're asking is to have a little faith in us. I have 100 percent faith in him that he'll make the right decision."

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Note: The mission of Save Seahawk Swimming & Diving is to prevent the elimination of the Swimming and Diving teams at UNCW by bringing together our students, alumni, faculty and members of the community to create a strong issue advocacy campaign. We seek to convince the chancellor and athletic board to accept a viable and intelligent alternative to eliminating the programs that embody the values of UNCW through hard work, integrity, service, and commitment to education. For more information go to http://saveuncwswimmingdiving.org/

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Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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Ralph? Look at these:

http://keepingscore.blogs.time.com/2013/03/21/college-sports-spending-th...

and:

http://reason.com/archives/2011/10/14/stop-funding-college-sports

and:

http://deadspin.com/5976391/sec-schools-spend-163931-per-athlete-and-oth...

Don't be surprised to find out that NC will look at elimination of sports from
SOME campuses soon. For most campuses they lose money. UNC-CH, Duke, State, they probably make money off their sports programs and good for them !!
But as Legislators grapple with dwindling revenues and students become more savvy at financial endeavors - don't be surprised if schools LIKE UNCW begin to realize that Socialism in sports, where 12,000 undergrads support the non academic endeavors of ONLY 283 students begins to wear thin on the student body.
There were a couple of hundred protesters yesterday. In this case the silent majority just spoke VOLUMES about how they feel.

Vog

The silent majority isnt even here

You realize that most of our friends go home for the summer right? That is why they cut swimming when they did, so the protests would be smaller and less people would be able to come or even hear about it. You complain about bloated budgets- the basketball program loses (revenue included) almost more money than every sport combined per year (1.5 mil). And by the way, if you want to enforce austerity on the uncw sports teams you can, but do it through the athletic department cuts and not as an attack on the swim teams who have the least cost per athlete, barely any scholarships, and one of the highest gpas. You are defending a basketball team that got ncaa santioned not to compete in postseason.

Hey silent

I do not defend the basketball team. However, basketball games are far better attended than swimming and diving meets. You are absolutely correct that swimming loses LESS money.
As for gpa's - doesn't matter.

The main goal of a persons time in college is for education - sports are secondary.
The protests were poorly attended and yes the VAST majority did not attend. Several hundred were protesting several 10's of thousands were still on campus.
Again - the only suggestion you offer is a non-descript "cut the athletic department don't cut swimming" without offering specifics.
I hate to have to break this to you but:
A = the athletic program at UNCW is in financial crisis, according to Chancellor Miller.
B - the Seahawk boosters are an abysmal failure at fund raising this year.
C - the Alumni in general are supportive either

And all of this happened when sports cost are rising.
Your reserves are gone.
And everyone points fingers. "Oh is it the basketball teams costs?". "Oh we stopped giving because DePaulo politicized basketball." "we stopped supporting when she got rid of Brownell".

But yet everyone gasps in faux horror when they they say cut swimming or cut Mens track and field.

This athletic program is pathetic and FULL of ego's that are artificially inflated. From coaches to players and boosters who believe their sports are better than the others......
Unless you guys start coming up with ides I say cut them all and start from ground zero.

Vog

My response

The department is in crisis for a few years? Well if we are eating through our reserves so quickly why did we hire a basketball coah for 400k? Why did we hire an assistant basketball coach for 150k? All this while we are eating through our reserve fund? Why do we increase student fees and then cut sports while hiring new assistant coaches for golf? Then lets cut the most successful team at uncw and also the girls team at the same time when they cost tue least per athlete and have just renovated the pool at uncw? Cleary there is an agenda to cut the swim team. They were not informed of this until most kids had signed their leases for the next year- another blunder. If this cuts were a long time financial mess as you describe i have no faith in uncw's leadership because the swim team certainly was not aware that this was about to happen and it has blindsided many. This is not the proper way to run a university, in fact it reminds me of maryland swimming and diving who had to cut almost all their sports when they gave a new football coach a multi-million dollar contract when already in the red. I am not blaming any other sport but it seems that swimming is a sacrifice for poor management. Swimming has had 12 straight championships with a limited budget, it should be easy to recruit at uncw in any program with the beach and decent facilities and beautiful campus. Yet we are sacrificing sports for inflated coaches contracts and I think that is a shame. I would be willing to bet that i could run the basketball team better than buzz peterson - i mean come on they are not even allowed to compete at all due to grades.

Hey you know

That Brad Brownell isn't too popular in Clemson these days.
We could get him back.

of course we'd have to pay him at least his current Clemson salary of $993,000 per year PLUS expenses.
TWICE what Peterson is making.
I'm being facetious of course Brad would NEVER come back here.
But we cna dream can't we?
Vog

silent-

Perhaps the teams didn't know - that would be a shame.
But a blame game from you? You could coach Mens basketball better than Peterson?
Go for it I say but you & I both know THAT won't happen.
I can't answer for the University so I don't know hwy they were chewing though funds and elected to hire Peterson and the asst coach from UNC-Asheville but some folks here have said you have to have a name coach to attract name players.
As for agendas? Well, if that IS the case then close ALL university sports down.
As a non UNCW person let me tell you what this looks like from the outside.

It looks like a bunch of whiny current and former players saying don't cut "MY" teams sport. It looks like whiny supporters saying its the other guys fault. Or a bunch of whiny supporters saying its the past Chancellors fault.
They say all of this while donations are way down, and expenses are way up.
Yet they tax the living hell out of 12,000 undergrads to help pay for this failing program that services less than 400 students.
As a TAXPAYER I say enough is enough.
Stop socializing your athletic departments losses.
Either get more donations or end all sports.
Charge more admission for each game, meet or match.
But Silent? You better increase attendance at all sports because it doesn't look too good when your championship swimming and diving team only attracts 75 people to most meets.

I don't give a damn about agendas, chancellors past or present, coaches past or present or championships past or present. Show me REDUCED losses. Show me increased donations. Show me a student body interested enough to attend the games meets and matches.
You can't - so as taxpayer I say end it all.
Its not like the 12,000 undergrads won't appreciate saving hundred of dollars per year in fees they won't have to pay.

Vog

Here's an idea, tax the

Here's an idea, tax the Church and use that money to fund these programs.

Terry Curran is THE problem

If you will look back several years ago, Terry Curran went on a witch hunt to fire Dave Allen. Coach Allen was strong and didn't cave in then, now Curran's back for more. He has obviously fooled the new administration into believing he has the best interest of the University at hand. Please take a look at Curran's past issues with Allen, minorities, unfair practices placed on student athletes (4th Math) and general hate to anyone that stands in the way of his beliefs and his agenda. A deeper look into Curran and his Division will reveal, 3 of his directors abruptly departed the University over the last several months. Somethings going down and if you follow the right leads, all problems have Terry Curran's name on them.

Conflict of Interest???

Dr. Terrence M. Curran, Academic Affairs and Chair of the IARC, UNCW

Why would Curran accept the position of chair of the IARC when there may have been a prior history of bias against Allen and swimming? That is a clear conflict of interest. Given its known history based on this post at least, he should have excused himself. Does Chancellor know about this? If so, he's on the hook as well if he approves the IARC recommendations.

Marcus/Concerned

Stop, stop, STOP
As a non UNCW person I say it doesn't matter.
Dispute the FACTS don't call into question the personalities.

Unlike most universities your sports programs aren't just losing money - they're GUSHING money.
Unlike other universities the Boosters clubs are not helping the sports departments financial situation ENOUGH.
Unlike other universities the alumni donations are decreasing apparently for whatever reasons.

The report said the finance department at UNCW prepared the "numbers" for the report.
So dispute the numbers - show us neophytes how you are going to KEEP Swimming and Diving and why other sports should go as a way to save the BULK of the sports programs at UNCW.
But do it with numbers - don't give us this he should have excused himself crap.
Or enlighten all of us to the shenanigans going on at UNCW and why it's so important.

Vog

Poor financial management

Uncw basketball is funded with 1.8 mil and cant even have a winning season or even have good enough grades to go to postseason ncaa tourneys. Butler (former national champs in last 5 years) are funded with 3.5 a year. I hope with these swim team cuts that are going to basketball (400k) we can finally get good enough grades and be ncaa eligible to compete in postseason. There is nothing like ruining 130 kids lives so our stupid basketball team can be more spoiled And wasteful than it already was. Btw swimming championships = 12 in a row, basketball hasnt even won the entire time i have been at uncw. Hope all those scuba trips in hawaii are paying off buzz peterson. Oh wait they are not... You are just wasting uncw and taxpayer money to go swim with fishes and your unskilled basketball team.