We’re ‘closer than ever’ to reinstatement

An advocate for Michigan State’s eliminated swimming and diving programs held an initial meeting with athletic director Alan Haller this week, talking for 45 minutes Thursday as the university’s athletic department considers whether to reinstate the teams.

Last week, Michigan State’s Board of Trustees directed Haller to hold meetings with advocates for the programs, and told him to make a decision about the teams’ future by the end of the spring semester in 2023. The meeting took place over Zoom, between Haller and program advocate David Habel.

The women’s and men’s swimming and diving programs were eliminated in October 2020, in part as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the financial uncertainty it created in athletic departments’ across the country.

MSU swim and dive team supporters listen during a Michigan State University Board of Trustees meeting at the Hannah Administration Building in East Lansing on Oct. 28, 2022.

The advocacy group, Battle for Spartan Swim and Dive, has been working to get the programs reinstated ever since.

Battle for Spartan Swim and Dive called Thursday’s meeting “the most definitive step forward” in their efforts to get the programs reinstated.

“Mr. Haller contacted Battle representatives earlier this week, holding an initial 45-minute conversation on Thursday with additional discussions being scheduled for the coming weeks,” the advocacy group, which has secured millions in pledges from alums to help fund reinstatement, said in a statement sent out Friday night. “We thank Mr. Haller for his sincere outreach and we look forward to working together to put our storied programs back in the water. The Battle group also wishes to acknowledge the MSU Board of Trustees.

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