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CofC holds final swim meet - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

CofC holds final swim meet

CofC swimmers held their final swim meet on Friday. (Photo Source: WCSC) CofC swimmers held their final swim meet on Friday. (Photo Source: WCSC)
CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

Student-athletes from the College of Charleston hit the pool for their final swim meet Friday night.

One student called the event "bittersweet."

"We kind of got off the blocks right when we heard the news.. we definitely plan on keeping going because this means a lot to a lot of people," swimmer Josh Shaffer said.

CofC divers will compete on Saturday morning for the last time.

The CofC Athletic Department plans to shut down the swim and dive teams because it can no longer afford to maintain the pool, which was constructed in the 1970s.

CofC Director of Athletics Joe Hull issued a statement Friday afternoon on the situation:

"As a parent and former student-athlete, I understand how our team and alumni feel about the decision to discontinue swimming. The truth is the pool is old and failing. We have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars over the past several years to keep it functioning, but the pool is failing. If we fix the current $1.5 million problem with the HVAC, we will still have a 40-year-old pool that is the wrong length and the wrong depth. New problems and new costs are likely. I wish the reality was different, but we are no longer in position to properly support an NCAA Division I program in swimming and diving.

"When we review the immediate HVAC repairs, the repairs that are likely in the near future, the additional investment needed to make our team more competitive, the continuing inadequacies that will remain even if the pool is repaired, the other needs of the student body and the additional costs we will incur due to NCAA autonomy, it is difficult to see how we can make it all work."

Hull announced in November that the teams would be disbanded at the end of the current season.

Athletics Communications Director Marlene Navor confirmed in a statement in November that the pool would close at the end of the spring semester.

"That space can be repurposed to provide up to 19,000 square feet of badly-needed classroom and student meeting room space," Navor said in a statement.

Hull said students in the program could either transfer to compete for a different school or remain at CofC on their scholarships.

Swimmers still plan to meet with President Glenn McConnell in hopes of keeping their team afloat.

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