Another Division I Program Dropping Swimming; Due to Lack of MEAC Conference Sponsorship

Division I North Carolina A&T, the Aggies, announced this week that they will drop women’s swimming no later than the 2015-2016 season in exchange for adding three new sports and reinstating a fourth.

Men’s tennis, men’s and women’s golf and women’s soccer will be added to the Aggies’ sport offerings, and men’s tennis will return after being discontinued in 2006.

This is a very long-term move, as the school will “initiate the start of men’s and women’s golf” in the 2016-2017 season, and add women’s soccer in 2020.

The move was blamed on the fact that the Aggies’ conference, the MEAC, doesn’t sponsor swimming. North Carolina A&T’s program resides in the Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association (CCSA) with two other MEAC programs, Howard and Florida A&M, as well as teams like Florida Gulf Coast, Gardner-Webb, and Liberty.

“We are committed to moving all of our athletic programs into a position where they can compete for conference championships because as it stands now, winning a conference title gives us our best chance to advance to an NCAA playoff,” said Director of Athletics Earl M. Hilton III in a statement.

“Our swimming program has produced great athletes and outstanding citizens in our society. Many of our swimmers have been tremendously successful after graduating from North Carolina A&T. We must, however, move our department to where every athlete has the opportunity to compete for a conference and NCAA title. I don’t see a scenario where the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference will sponsor swimming in the foreseeable future.”

North Carolina A&T finished 13th out of 13 teams at last year’s CCSA Championships, scoring all 44 of their points on relays. They likely would have placed one spot higher, ahead of VMI, had it not been for a DQ in the meet-opening 200 free relay.

All scholarships will be honored through the 2015-2016 season. Shawn Hendrix, who was the head coach of the program since 1998, is no longer listed on the team’s website for the 2013-2014 season.

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ACHILLES

The MEAC conference doesn’t sponsor swimming. Check. As adjunct members in CCSA they finished 13 out of 13. Check. This team is not able nor ever will be of destroying Trojans. I won’t be shedding any tears on their farewell.

coacherik

Heartless troll.

CoachLT

Seriously. Sad news for a program that has always exhibited class and competed hard. Hate it for Coach Shawn too – here’s hoping she lands on her feet.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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