Supporters of the Dartmouth men's and women's swimming and diving teams, which had been scheduled to be dropped after this season for budgetary reasons, have raised enough money to fund the teams for the next 10 years.

The plight of the programs gained national attention last month, when the boyfriend of a female swimmer posted an auction on the Internet auction house eBay, and offered to sell both teams for $212,000, the amount the school needed to fund the teams for another season. The auction did not attract any serious bids, and eBay closed the sale down after a few days, questioning whether the seller possessed ownership rights to the team.

Swarmed by reporters, Dartmouth officials engaged team members and their supporters in discussions about ways to save the swimming and diving teams.

Since then, $2 million has been pledged to keep the programs alive. Meantime, the school will search for alternative funding sources to ensure the programs' future.

According to statement released by the school yesterday, part of the money came from the school's decision to reallocate funds from other departments.

The Big Green's swimming and diving teams were due to be dropped at the conclusion of the school year as part of a plan to save the athletic department $260,000.

The slumping economy has caused scores of athletic departments to save money by chopping programs.

In another novel approach to ducking the budget ax, the University of Minnesota athletic department raised more than $670,000 after holding a three-hour telethon last month.