Swimmers, divers rally before council to save team

Swimmers, divers rally before council to save team

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Student-athletes from the College of Charleston are hoping to save two of the school's teams from elimination.

Athletes from the women's and men's swimming and diving teams attended Wednesday evening's Charleston City Council meeting, to ask for support.

Last week, CofC Athletic Director Joe Hull announced the end of the teams after the current season. In a statement, Hull cited financial costs to maintain and repair the 40-year-old Stern Center pool were "too much to overcome." The pool is also set to close at the end of the school year.

Alumnus Chris Lietzow says the team wants to partner with the school to raise money to fix the facilities.

"They alluded to the fact that a new ventilation system at the pool would cost about 1.5 million dollars and they briefly said if we're able to come up with that money, then they would consider continuing the program," he said. "They have given us hope in that sense. We don't know how realistic that is."

When asked if the school would reconsider closing the pool if the student-athletes raised enough money, Athletics Communications Director Marlene Navor wrote in an e-mail message:

"The pool will close at the end of the 2015 Spring Semester. That space can be repurposed to provide up to 19,000 square feet of badly needed classroom and student meeting room space."

Hull said affected students would have the option of either transferring to compete for a different school, or remaining at College of Charleston on scholarship.

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