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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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