Athletic Council Chair Kathleen Smith is precisely what's wrong with Duke's athletics administration. Her claim that "no one in the University cares about [swimming]" is bogus and epitomizes Duke's lack of commitment to sports other than basketball and football. Duke's lame treatment of its swimming program has resulted in the loss of several dedicated and nationally ranked swimmers--myself included.
Just one year ago, my swimming career peaked with two University records and a national ranking of 16th. This year, however, through great deliberation I decided not to continue my swim career at Duke. I understand that swimming is a non-revenue sport, but for no reason should that indicate that the athlete or team is unimportant, attitudes that our athletic department has (now publicly) assigned to swimming.
Swimming, until now, has always played an important role in my life. I sacrificed this life-long passion precisely because I felt that my commitment to Duke athletics had been violated and unreciprocated. Smith has only confirmed the athletic department's pathetic and lackadaisical commitment to non-revenue sports that thrive elsewhere and deserve to thrive at Duke.