It has been a year since Spartans were able to compete at the varsity level on Michigan State University’s Swim and Dive team. In October 2020, President Samuel Stanley announced in an email to Spartans, that the swim and dive team would be discontinued after the 2020-2021 season.
Since then, former members of the team and supporters have been pleading to President Stanley and the Board of Trustees to reinstate the team. Women took their efforts to the courts and are currently waiting to be reheard in court due to incorrect calculations in their first case.
One of the plaintiffs in the case is Sophia Balow, she is also a lifeguard at MSU and a swim club member.
“It was extremely hard when it got taken away, especially so quickly and without any kind of warning,” Balow said.
Balow and Peter Corsetti, another former member of the Swim and Dive team, spoke at the February Board of Trustees meeting about the matter. They have both committed to the MSU Swim Club to be able to practice and be with their old teammates until their teams get reinstated.
“I know that if Michigan State decides to bring back the program, I know there will be a following. I know there will be kids that will want to swim here and coaches that want to coach here,” Corsetti said.
Corsetti said coming into the Big Ten championships as a freshman swimmer was eye-opening and it broke his heart when he was told that the program would be discontinued during his sophomore year.
“It was really mentally tough but I was lucky to have my teammates around me. Everyone really relied on each other to get through that,” Corsetti said.
As swim club members, Corsetti, Balow and other former members of the swim team are still able to practice in the pool. Balow said it has been enjoyable to swim with her old teammates and swim solely for fun, although it isn’t the same as competing on a varsity level.
“It’s hard for us because we’re so upset about the swim team, but yet we love it [MSU] so much, so it’s a weird paradox to be in,” Balow said.