Parents of Iowa swim team members meet on campus to discuss plans to save programs cut

Published: Aug. 29, 2020 at 7:02 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - About two dozen parents of Iowa swim team members gathered near the Iowa Memorial Union on Saturday to discuss options to save all of the programs cut from the Athletic Department last week.

In addition to those present, there were dozens more participating on a zoom call recording the event. The group is hoping that the Hawkeye Athletic Department takes a pause, and starts a dialogue with them.

“The emphasis of this group is to have an open dialogue with the administration, sit down, lets talk, lets develop a plan,” said Matt Purdy, who’s son Ryan is a sophomore on the Hawkeye swim team. “We’re hoping there’s no need to take it any further than that, in saying lets pause, lets reevaluate, and we can make a change with this,”

Rick Williams, who was a swimmer back in the late 80′s at Iowa, now has a son on the team and said listening to his son break the news to him last week was devastating.

“We wouldn’t be good parents if we didn’t try to help in any way possible to make this university reconsider their decisions,” Williams said.

Many parents voiced their frustration on the lack of communication from the Athletic Department and the manner of how the decision was relayed to the student-athletes.

“It was too business like, forgetting the fact that this is an educational institution.” Purdy said.

“They need to put kids first. As a teacher myself, in day one of fundamental education they talk to you about do no harm to kids. If you think about it that way, and how 105 kids were affected by this, two days before classes start. College is stressful enough, along with COVID and all of the other movements taking place, which are amazing in this country right now, think about the damage to those guys and the mental anguish that they’ve gone through over the last several days.”

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