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.
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
University of Arkansas, Little Rock
University of California, Irvine
California State University, Northridge
Chico State 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
University of Kansas
James Madison University
University of Massachusetts – Boston
University of Massachusetts – Lowell
University of Miami (Ohio)
Moorhead State University
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.