Western Illinois University Athletics will suspend its swimming and diving program effective immediately. The decision to suspend was due to challenges related to COVID-19, which impacted the search for a head coach, recruitment, and the department’s budget.
All athletics scholarships will be honored for the affected student-athletes who wish to return to Western Illinois University and will be guaranteed through the remainder of their athletic eligibility period. Signed national letters of intent and financial aid agreements for the 2020-21 academic year will also be honored.
“This extremely difficult decision was necessary given the challenges the department is facing. We will honor scholarships for the 2020-21 season while we re-evaluate the program’s future,” said Director of Athletic Danielle Surprenant. “Our priority is to ensure that those student-athletes affected have the support and resources needed to make decisions about their future.”
The decision will be re-evaluated within the next year.
“The challenges that we face across the University brought on by the pandemic has made it necessary to make some very difficult decisions,” said WIU Interim President Martin Abraham. “We recognize and regret the impact that this will have on our student-athletes.”
With the change, the department will sponsor 17 NCAA Division I sports, eight men’s and nine women’s.