Iowa Hawkeyes

Former Hawkeye athletes call for Regents review of discontinuation of 4 Iowa sports

Letter to Regents suggests proper due process wasn't undertaken

Swimmers dive in for the start of the 200 freestyle relay consolation final at the men's NCAA swimming championships at
Swimmers dive in for the start of the 200 freestyle relay consolation final at the men's NCAA swimming championships at the University of Iowa Campus Recreation and Wellness Center pool in Iowa City on March 26, 2015. (The Gazette)

A letter to the Iowa Board of Regents authored by former University of Iowa swimmer Vickie Nauman and supported by over 260 former Iowa athletes, coaches and alumni is requesting the Regents review the university’s decision to cut four sports.

They are men’s and women’s swimming, men’s gymnastics and men’s tennis. Iowa announced it would discontinue the four teams at the end of the 2020-21 school year to help defray revenue losses incurred this year from the Hawkeyes’ football season getting canceled.

The letter says “it does not appear that proper due process was undertaken and there was not adherence to PCA (Presidential Committee on Athletics) operations manual and policies.”

The letter has three main points.

1. The conduct of the university did not have athlete health, safety and well-being as a guiding imperative.

2. The university is lacking adequate financial oversight in the athletics department, with a history of problems that precede COVID-19.

3. There appears to have been lack of adherence to PCA procedures, notice, and Iowa Open Meetings Law, nor was there notice given of any special meeting on the topic of financial constraints or potential termination of programs.

Nauman wrote: “We are open to a meeting, to join your next Regents meeting on Sept. 23, or a hearing to further this discussion.”

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She also wrote “Alumni, students and parents have mobilized and united around this recent action and we request reversal of the announcement on August 21 so that we can pull in alumni and experts to re-imagine the manner in which these legacy programs operate in the near and longer term.”

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