Aquatics Program Goes Underwater

The Lions competed at the Pacific Coast Swim Conference Championship in Long Beach.
The Lions competed at the Pacific Coast Swim Conference Championship in Long Beach.
Image: Beth Renkoski

The men’s and women’s water polo and swim teams will finish out the 2011-2012 season but will not return in the fall.

The cut comes as part of a program-wide evaluation of the Athletic Department. Aquatics did not end due
to financial problems. The decision was made because there wasn’t enough competition to justify continuing the programs.

“Although it was only added three years ago, water polo has no national competition. For all of the other
sports, at least 100 or more schools compete, but as far as swim goes, only 20 or less schools competed with Vanguard, causing a big disparity,” Athletic Director Bob Wilson said.

Director of Aquatics, Ed Carrera, strongly disagreed with the decision.

“I feel betrayed, and I feel like the institution used me to get them over 35 new students that would have
never attended VU if Aquatics wasn’t offered,” Carrera said.

Students were informed of the decision on Monday, Feb. 13.

“The truth was given to [students], and the information was provided. We thought that was the best way to deliver the message,” Wilson said.

Vanguard students and athletes had mixed reactions to the news of the program cut.

“We were first told the reason we were being cut was due to financial reasons, but days later we found out that finances were not the real, or at least the only, reason,” senior Samantha Hawkins said.

Sophomore swim team member Joshua Roe thinks the school could have approached this decision differently.

“I understand Vanguard University did what they needed to do, but the least they could have done was told us with an acceptable amount of notice before they shut the program down and been courteous enough to give us a reason for the suspension,” Roe said.

Sophomore Cara Deckert decided to come to Vanguard mainly because she knew she would be able to play water polo for the school.

“Water polo has been my sport and passion for six years now and I know for a fact I would not be here right now if they never started a water polo program. I took a chance on Vanguard to start something
new and be a part of Vanguard water polo history. I never expected that I would have to be a part of the end of it as well,” Deckert said.

Vanguard will continue to honor the financial aid for all eligible Aquatic athletes who desire to continue their education at Vanguard. However, some students may decide to pursue their education and Aquatic careers elsewhere.

“This decision has changed the entire future of roughly 40 students,” Hawkins said.

Junior Lindsay McCance believes the decision to end the Aquatics program will affect how the players compete the rest of this season.

“I feel as though this information was revealed at a very inopportune time, seeing as though we are competing at the national swimming competition at the end of this month in Oklahoma and womens water
polo has just begun their season. Some athletes who feel somewhat betrayed by Vanguard have lost the heart and drive necessary to compete,” McCance said.

Wilson explains the announcement’s timing.

“We didn’t give the athletes more warning for two reasons: to keep the integrity of the school and to prevent rumors from spreading,” Wilson said.

was the Assistant Editor of the Voice from 2010-2011.

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