Having co-captained the University of Illinois swimming and diving team decades ago, I was touched by Sage Ohlensehlen's August 29th letter, "Cuts not fair."

Ms. Ohlensehlen criticized the University of Iowa Athletic Department's recent decision to cut four minor sports at the end of the 2020-21 school year, her sport of swimming included. She explained why that program should be continued. One good reason was that it consumed less than 1% of the school's athletic budget.

She closed the letter with a general plea for help. Sportswriter Don Doxsie then addressed this "bad optics" decision a short time later.

Sadly, on a University of Iowa website, the open letter from the university president and athletic director stated that none of those sports could be privately funded.

However, people are fighting back. This issue is going national, with petitions, fundraisers and a team of the athletes’ parents trying to save those sports.

Participation in even a minor intercollegiate sport could affect a student's life far beyond college. Though I was average scholastically, I graduated with five good job offers in my (non-athletic) area of specialization. In every case, guess which topic the interviewer asked me about first?

Also, swimming and tennis are lifelong sports. You don’t need a team of 22 to do them.

You could help by donating funds, or by signing a petition. I simply Googled "change.org save UIowa Swim & Dive". But you can find other opportunities on the University of Iowa’s website. Thanks.

Luanne Beinke

Rock Island


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