I know many other sports can identify with this issue, so I am not trying to say swimming has it the worst, just throwing this out there:

The University of Maryland mens and womens swim teams are on the list of ten potential sports being cut from the university athletic department due to…get this…budget mismanagement. Shocking. “Maryland’s athletics department is on track to lose $4.7 million this fiscal year. The deficit is projected to more than triple, reaching $17.6 million, within the next five years unless spending is drastically cut, revenues are sharply increased or both.” The article goes on to imply that the University president was surprised by this information. Seriously, how is that possible?

In chatting with the DU head swimming coach this evening, he raised an interesting point: do you think the swim team has gone over budget…ever? No. Swimming gets a small budget (when compared to football, basketball and baseball) because of low spectator proceeds. Okay, understandable. Even as a swimmer, I never enjoyed attending swim meets I did not have to participate in (either as athlete or coach). Regardless, if the swim team did not go over budget, why does the team have to suffer the consequences of the Athletic Departments mismanagement of funds.

This is not the first swimming program that has been cut (men more than women). Just off the top of my head: JMU, Clemson, Univ of Washington, and now Maryland (longer men’s teams cut list see below). In fact, this issue is so prevalent there’s a handbook from USA Swimming (the NGB) entitled: “Saving your Men’s College Swimming Program: A Practical Guide.” Last year when working for SwimMAC, elite club program in NC, we wrote a letter to ADs with our CEO (former college coach of 14-time National Champion program, Auburn Univ) appealing to them to keep swim programs at their universities. The majority of our swimmers went on to swim in college…what if they had nowhere to go?

So what about the Maryland recruits? Early decision athletes are signing at this time of year…but what if the school drops the program? I guarantee you 99% of those recruits will not attend a university that no longer has a swim team. Oh NCAA and Athletic Departments, get your act together.


Adrian College

University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

University of Arkansas, Little Rock

University of California, Irvine

California State University, Northridge

Canisius College

Chico State University

Clemson University

Cornell College (Iowa)

University of Dallas

Fresno State University

Georgia Southern University

Hobart  – William & Smith College

University of Illinois,

Indiana University (Penn.)

Iowa State University

James Madison University

Juaniata College

University of  Kansas

Loyola University

James Madison University

University of Massachusetts – Boston

University of Massachusetts – Lowell

University of  Miami (Ohio)

Moorhead State University

Morehouse College

University of Nebraska

New Mexico State College

University of New Mexico

Northern Arizona University

University of Richmond

Rutgers University – Camden

San Francisco State University

San Jose State University

University of Washington

and, most recently, the University of Vermont.