ATTLEBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — When it came to choosing a college, finding one with a swim program was a big factor in Aaron Dumont Jr.’s decision.
After a not-so-typical senior year at Attleboro High School, Aaron made the exciting decision to attend UMass Dartmouth in the fall.
“It was such a bad end to his senior year, we kind of thought we were out of the woods with bad news now,” his mom Lori said Thursday.
Lori said Aaron and his friends were optimistic to dive into new athletic opportunities at the Division III school, and her son hoped to make the swim team.
But for now, those dreams can’t stay afloat.
On Wednesday, the university announced it’s dropping eight athletic programs including men’s and women’s swimming. The Dumonts said they’re frustrated and wished they were informed about it sooner.
“We’re all disappointed,” Lori said.
David Gingerella, UMass Dartmouth’s vice chancellor for administration and finance, offered this explanation in a news release:
“We realize how difficult this decision is, but I want to reaffirm our commitment to athletics and student-athletes at UMass Dartmouth. This is not a cost-cutting measure, it is a re-allocation of resources within Athletics for future success.”
“I don’t understand how they determine that one child’s athletic ambitions are less important than somebody else’s,” Lori added. “It just seems just kind of unfair that they get to take money from one program and add funding to another.”
Lori said she hopes the university will reconsider since her son has already committed and paid the fees.
She also said her heart breaks for the incoming freshmen who are in the same boat as Aaron.
“It just gives me a bad feeling for how they are treating these kids who haven’t even showed up yet for their first day of class,” Lori said.
The university on Wednesday emphasized that the decision had nothing to do with the COVID-19 pandemic, saying the process began long before, and that’s a big reason why Lori said it’s difficult to process the situation.