has been a long time since I had a chance to read all of my e-mail
and I wanted to forward some of the highlights to everyone. I warn
you that it is a long list (even my summary version) so I will put
the Nebraska updates first then followed by the "national"
swimming and diving updates.
Swimming and Diving Update
1. Nebraska is still
searching for a Women's Swimming and Diving Head Coach. Of course,
there are conflicting reports as to how many people have been interviewed
(between 3 and 7) and where they were interviewed (brought to Lincoln
or over the phone). Excuse the pun, but don't hold your breath until
we have an announcement.
2. The paid advertisement
has spurred interest in our story and Phil Whitten's article about
the AllTel deal has given this interest some legs. Tim has been
interviewed by all of the Lincoln TV stations (in other words, both
of them). Plus, the local CBS affiliate is planning for a more in-depth
story about men's swimming and diving at NU. Tim is working out
3. The paid advertisement has given us more supports in the Lincoln
area. This will help to form a men's club team while we do not have
a NCAA men's team. Also, it helps us to keep this story in front
of the University and the community. I am extremely grateful for
those who are starting to volunteer to help.
4. Athletic Department
staff have hinted at the fact the Senior Staff was not involved
in any of the decisions with dropping swimming and diving. This
may be a story that slowly develops and it adds to our "Call
5. 3 national news organizations
(Real Sport with Bryant Gumbel, 60 Minutes II, CBS News with Dan
Rather) have expressed interest a story about the loss of men's
sports including the situation in Nebraska.
6. In a strange twist,
the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) has commented that the foreign
athletes at Nebraska may have a case against Chancellor Perlman
for his comments in an e-mail relating the men's program to international
students. This is a strange twist considering that the OCR is also
responsible for enforcement of Title IX. The OCR has invited us
to send a formal letter to them regarding this situation.
7. Phil Whitten of Swimming
World has been an extremely busy guy. He has stated that he had
multiple sources for his AllTel article and he is following another
lead relating to swimming and diving at Nebraska. In other words,
he is planning a future article.
8. The Women's Sport
Foundation (WSF) contacted Bev about our situation at Nebraska.
Bev and the WSF are planning to have a discussion in the near future
about the situation at Nebraska in regards to both men's and women's
swimming and diving.
9. Chancellor Perlman
has become irritated with any discussion of the dropping of men's
swimming even if it relates to the women's team. A mother of 3 high
school aged girls was able to engage the Chancellor with a discussion
relating to the future of women's swimming at Nebraska. In the Chancellor's
third e-mail to this family, he stopped copying the Regents on his
e-mail and he basically told this mother to look for a different
school. It was an aggressive e-mail considering he was addressing
a potential future student for the University. In my opinion, he
took out some of his frustration on this family.
10. Phil Whitten drafted
a letter to the President and it was signed by Josh Davis (gold
medals in 1996 and 2000 for swimming and a Bush campaign supporter)
asking for the President to call for a "blue ribbon" commission
to review Olympic sports at the college level.
11. Also, Phil's 32 page
booklet titled, "How to Save your Swimming Program" will
be sent to all collegiate swimming and diving head coaches by September.
12. Finally, Phil is
trying to create a Legal Defense Team to assist swimming and diving
supporters when their local college drops their swimming and diving
program. This Legal Defense Team is chaired by a NH judge who is
also a Masters Swimmer. They are looking for other lawyers who are
interested in joining this team. The details can be found at www.swiminfo.com.
13. As ridiculous as
some of the recommendations from the Knight Commission were, the
basic element is that the spending in collegiate athletics has grown
out of hand. University Presidents and faculty have voiced their
opinions against this rising cost. Swimming and Diving will benefit
from this discussion because our athletes are students first and
this is another theme that has broad support. Other than the building
of large aquatic facilities, the spending in our sport is under
control. Even in the case of large aquatic facilities, swimming
and diving facilities play an important role in their communities
where they not only serve the college swim team, but also local
teams and other aquatic programs. I do not believe you can say the
same about state of the art baseball facilities, basketball facilities,
or luxury sky boxes at the football stadium.
As you can see, things
are moving. I am sure that it is not as fast as needed or in
some situations ... much later than needed. However, if you are
interested in Nebraska maintaining both a women's and men's swimming
and diving team, then you have to be encouraged by these updates.
I also want to remind you that I am just the messenger and we have
others to thank for the progress above. I have not been able to
single everyone out but all of us owe these volunteers a thank you
for their hard work. Thanks,Doug