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Posted by Jeff from ( on Friday, December 06, 2002 at 6:56PM :

U.S. National - AP
Backers Put Ivy League Swim Team on eBay
Fri Dec 6, 2:47 PM ET
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HANOVER, N.H. (AP) - Officials at eBay and Dartmouth College have thrown cold water on an innovative, if lighthearted, effort at keeping the school's swim team afloat.

Supporters, led by the boyfriend of a team member, listed the team on eBay after the Ivy League school announced last month it would eliminate the men's and women's swim and diving teams when the season ends in March.

"Do the words corporate sponsorship mean anything to you?" the listing said. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own a piece of NCAA (news - web sites) Division 1 collegiate memorabilia."

Dartmouth officials said the listing was unauthorized.

"We simply don't operate that way," college Dean James Larimore told The New York Times. "This may be a little like someone trying to sell the Brooklyn Bridge."

Larimore did not immediately return phone calls to The Associated Press on Friday.

Before the listing was removed Thursday, at least six people made bids. The highest, for $212,000, was retracted before the listing was removed.

Sophomore swimmer Jenny Kunkel said her boyfriend, Jon Lenihan, placed the listing while she was visiting him during Thanksgiving.

"I didn't do this to restore the team," said Lenihan, who attends Xavier University in Cincinnati. "I just did it to promote awareness of the situation."

He said he didn't expect much to come of it, but then began hearing from people all over the country offering donations.

"We had no idea we'd get so many hits, or that we'd ever get an offer," Kunkel said.

Dartmouth officials said eliminating the team would save $212,000 a year. The school's $2 billion endowment lost almost 6 percent last year.

-- Jeff
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