MSU Defends Cuts, Requests Loan to Cover Losses

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The Michigan State University athletic department announced in October that it was dropping men’s and women’s swimming and diving after the 2020-21 season.

According to The State News, Michigan State athletic director Beekman made his first public comments about the program eliminations during this week’s two-hour meeting with 12 Michigan State swimming and diving athletes, parents and alumni. Beekman told the swim community that the Michigan State athletic department suffered a loss of $80 million in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and that the financial difficulties led the university to look at all areas of the athletic department. The swimming and diving programs were designated for elimination due in part to their lack of success, and the cost it would take to make them successful.

“We really came up with five criteria that would help us analyze the various sports and their viability,” Beekman said. “The five criteria were, as a starting point, the potential for the sport to be successful going forward. Two, what it would cost to actually make that sport more competitive going forward. Three, were there potential cost savings if the sport were discontinued. Four, the impact on diversity and equity in our department. And five, the impact on the student-athletes experience across all sports.”

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