University suspends BG diving program

Andrew Harner and Andrew Harner

The University suspended the diving portion of the swimming and diving program yesterday. Sports information director Jason Knavel attributed the move to a lack of a steady head coach. The team relied on an assistant coach last season. ‘We’ve gone through six different diving coaches in seven years,’ Knavel said. ‘From a position of having a part-time assistant diving coach, it just didn’t seem feasible to run a diving program in that fashion without having a full-time diving coach.’ Last season’s coach, Dave Anderson, resigned shortly after his first season at the helm ended with no divers placing higher than 17th at the Mid-American Conference Championships. There are currently three freshmen divers – Stephanie Saliga, Katie Shannon and Molly Wood – in the Falcon program. According to Knavel, two of them had asked for their release so they could transfer. The third will be given the option of having a transfer granted or retaining her scholarship for the 2009-10 academic year. The three scholarships left behind by the divers will be retained by the swimming program, which is something Knavel said may help the team grow. ‘They’re not losing scholarships by losing the diving program,’ Knavel said. ‘Hopefully it strengthens the swimming program because they can focus their scholarships into swimming rather than diving.’ Earlier this month, amid rumors the hockey program may be cut, Athletic Director Greg Christopher sent out a letter to Falcon fans telling them ‘we will field all 18 of our sports teams for the 2009-10 school year.’ Knavel explained that because diving is a part of the swimming and diving program, all 18 varsity sports will still be intact for next school year. ‘We still have 18 sports. Diving is part of the swimming program,’ Knavel said. ‘It’s an event part of the entire swimming program.’