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Miami Press Release
2/28/00

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Statement from University of Miami athletic director Paul Dee on the discontinuance of the men’s swimming and crew programs.

Beginning in the fall of this year the men’s sports of swimming and crew will be discontinued at the University of Miami. The decision leading to this announcement was extremely difficult and complicated. The basis for this decision was the University’s determination to bring its overall sports program into compliance with the provisions of Title IX, particularly with respect to participation ratios.

In 1993-94, the undergraduate student body was 53 percent male and 47 percent female. Those numbers were available to members of the committee preparing the plan. In 1999-00 academic year, the ratio shifted to 46 percent male and 54 percent female.

In 1993-94, the participant ratio in the athletic department was 69 percent male and 31 percent female. By the 1999-00 year, the ratio of participants in the athletic department was 56 percent male and 44 percent female an improvement of 13 percent in a five-year period. Had the student body ratio not changed during that same five year period the improvement made by the athletic department would have been approximately equal to the ratio to the undergraduate student enrollment, an therefore the participant provision of Title IX would have been met. However, because of the 9 percent change which occurred in the intervening five-year period the participant ratios found in the 1999-00 academic year remain 10 percent shy of goal. The circumstances necessitated careful review of the program and an extension of the expiring five-year plan.

With the addition of fully funding women’s rowing, starting and fully funding women’s soccer and beginning a program in women’s volleyball and fully funding it over a phase-in period at, the end of that period ratios for participation still would not have accomplished the desired proportionality. Therefore, it became, unfortunately necessary, to reduce the number of male participants which is the basis of the decision made here. With these changes and adjustments made in the next few years as we add volleyball and fully fund soccer and rowing it is expected that the participation ratio will approach reflect the undergraduate enrollment ratio of the University.

Dating back to the inception of the University, the men’s swimming and diving program has produced 110 All-Americans, 24 national champions and 26 Olympians.

This is the most difficult decision that the athletic department has made in a very long time. These fine young men are being displaced for reasons over which they have no control and which they did not cause. It is extremely regrettable that this is the necessary solution to the issues we face.

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