BOISE — The Boise State athletic department cut their baseball and women's swimming and diving team last week because of necessary budget cuts due to COVID-19.
“It’s still crushing I still haven’t moved on from that feeling yet of having that crushed dream not only for me but for 29 of my women and also the baseball team," said Boise State's head swimming and diving coach, Christine Mabile.
For seniors, Molly Hogg and Taylor Clark, it's bigger than just their last season being canceled.
“For us, this athletic department goes beyond just being an athlete," said Clark. "It’s given us a platform to grow as people in the community and strong women, and we walked into a legacy that we wanted to uphold and have other young ladies follow us, it’s crushing.”
With the timing of the news, if the student-athletes want to stay at Boise State, they will have to give up their dreams of swimming and diving collegiately.
“Scholarships are full around the country, there’s nowhere to go, and when all these girls are in fields like medical fields and teaching they can’t get into other nursing programs or teaching programs at other schools in July. They're stuck,” said Mabile.
Most of them don't want to leave.
"Boise is home and such a great community, and it's bigger than our sports," said Clark. "We enjoy being on this team because of all the life lessons it's taught us and the difference we get to make in our community, nobody wants to leave it here."
But, the teams were told there is nothing they can do.
Hogg and Clark are not ready to give up their program, and they won't let Boise State Athletic Director, Curt Apsey, stand in their way.
“He said there’s no possible way to bring it back, but if there is one thing Boise State has taught us as a team and us as individuals it’s that you don’t give up," said Hogg. "He cut the wrong program to just say give up because our whole athletic careers we were taught to keep fighting until the end, and this is not the end.”
Now they're turning to the community for help.
"We are looking for voices right now. We’re looking for people to stand up and fight for these girls and say we value you, we value what you bring to the community," said Mabile.
They started taking pledges of support from the community, and with the baseball team have raised over $250,000 in three days.
Although in a press conference last week, Apsey said that it isn't sustainable for a team to have to fund themselves. Coach Mabile said that he told her on Sunday not to fundraise and that the decision is final.
“We are told it was 100 percent financial and that we are expensive sports, I disagree I think that we can win championships on a bare-bones budget, and I'm OK with that," said Mabile. "We compete against top-25 programs across the country with not as many resources as they have and we can continue to do that."
Their goal is to raise around 2 million dollars
To pledge support to the program click here.
To donate to the GoFundMe page click here.
"We have been told our whole lives, especially as athletes, to not give up, to chase your dreams and it feels like our dreams have been ripped from us, and especially the legacy of our program that we have worked so hard to build," said Hogg.