Florida A&M University men and women’s swim teams have a basic problem. They have no on-campus facility to practice swimming.
The lack of pools for practices and hosting swim meets has been blamed on long term issues within the athletic department.
Douglas Carrington, head coach of the men and women’s swim teams, said the disorganization within the athletic department has led to failure to maintain quality facilities over the years.
“I wouldn’t say there’s a lack of funding right now- as a lack of developed infrastructure,” Carrington said.
He also said one thing is important when deciding the team’s direction- the need for more money from FAMU supporters.
“It’s more an inability to connect the resources we need with the projects that we have going,” Carrington said. “They say we need more funding, but there’s no plan, no vision, so it falls through.”
Carrington stressed the importance of alumni contributions.
“Alumni support means more, because it lets future generations know that the people who came before them care about the current state of their institution,” Carrington said.
Carrington is optimistic alumni support will improve in the future.
“Hopefully, we can reinvigorate alumni into keeping the tradition going,” Carrington said.” I think it is every piece that does its part and adds up to the bigger puzzle.”
Carrington also noted the importance of donations from groups such as 1000 Strikes, a campus-based organization.
He said students should do whatever they can to help FAMU athletic programs either by donating money or their time.
“People need to understand that you don’t have to partake in monetary contributions to invest in the program,” he said.
The absence of a functioning pool affects not only the team, but also fans.
Brandon Thomas, 22, an electrical engineering student from Washington, D.C., is a dedicated fan of the swim teams. He said he is displeased with the swim teams’ plight.
“Usually they practice from 2:30 to 5:30, but now they’re forced to use FSU facilities,” Thomas said. “This means they have to wait until Florida State’s swim team finishes their practice, pushing their own practice time to 5:30 pm. By the time it’s 7:30, the pool is like 40 degrees outside.”
Daishawn Decosey, 19, a sophomore biology student from Orlando, said FAMU’s athletic programs are no different from any other program on campus.
“The school distributes more funds to programs that are going to generate more money and that’s the main motive behind the lack of funding for the swim team,” Decosey said.