Clemson to phase out swimming

Clemson University will begin a two-year phase out of its men's swimming and diving, and women's swimming programs at the end of the 2011-12 academic year.

The announcement was made Friday, by Clemson Athletic Director Terry Don Phillips. Phillips said the women's diving program would continue.

"This was a difficult decision. It comes as a result of a long review of Clemson's sport offerings in light of our mission to offer sports in which we have the best opportunities to be competitive" said Phillips. "Clemson's all sports program approach requires review of facilities, coaching, and student-athlete recruitment opportunities for all sport offerings. Our job is to focus on areas where we have the necessary underpinnings to be successful.

"While facilities are important in every sport, having an Olympic size pool has become most important in swimming. We have made a decision not to build a 50-meter pool, and thus feel our program is in a state where it will be very difficult to compete at the highest level in the ACC and nationally.

"Coach Chris Ip, his assistants, and student-athletes have represented Clemson very well when all things are considered. From an academic standpoint the program has done remarkably well and their work in the community is an example to all teams. They are men and women of high character, and I know our student-athletes have performed to their utmost ability."

Clemson will continue to compete in the ACC for the next two years in men's and women's swimming and diving, so current sophomores will be able to swim for Clemson until the end of their careers All student-athletes who compete through the 2012 season will have the option of remaining at Clemson as students and receive the same level of financial aid through four years so long as they meet NCAA progress toward degree requirements.

Also, all student-athletes will be afforded Vickery Hall support during this time as well. Any student-athlete's request to transfer to another swimming program will be granted. Phillips also stated that the recent sport offering evaluation has identified women's golf as a likely choice for future sport sponsorship.

"We're being careful as we go forward to keep in mind the interests in South Carolina, the areas of athletic talent among of South Carolina young people, our responsibilities under Title IX, and a variety of other factors. Our analysis is ongoing and we'll be very careful in moving forward."

More communication is scheduled in the coming days and weeks to provide information to coaches and student-athletes on the transition.

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