The Canisius College Department of Athletics announced today the College will be reclassifying the synchronized swimming program from the varsity level to club sport status, starting in the 2013-14 academic year.
“The decision to move synchronized swimming from the varsity level to the club level was not an easy one and was made after careful consideration,” Canisius Director of Athletics Bill Maher said. “Canisius is very proud of our synchronized swimming program’s successful history, however the NCAA’s decision to remove it from their list of sponsored sports in 2010 changed the climate of synchronized swimming at the collegiate level. This action had a substantial effect in the funding institutions received from the NCAA and this has been the main reason the number of varsity programs sponsored across the country has fallen to six. While this transition will be a change, we do believe that the program will provide current and future athletes the opportunity to compete at the club level.”Canisius is currently one of six schools in the country to support synchronized swimming on a varsity level, according to usasynchro.org. Of those six schools, Canisius is one of three NCAA Division I institutions currently claiming the program as a varsity sport. In March, the Golden Griffins won their 16th consecutive ECAC championship, and the team recently finished fourth at the U.S. Collegiate National Championships. At that event, three current members of the team were honored as All-Americans.