Boise State University athletic director Curt Apsey announced today the elimination of the baseball and swimming and diving teams. The move follows an in-depth review of the Athletic Department’s financial situation, exacerbated by challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The team cuts, combined with other cost-saving measures, are expected to reduce the overall departmental budget by $3 million.
“This is one of the hardest decisions athletic departments have to make, but it comes at a time when we are facing the most serious financial challenge we have ever seen,” Apsey said. “Times like these are difficult for many people and we appreciate everyone who has supported these programs over the years, including our coaches, current and former student-athletes, donors and fans. We take all these measures seriously, knowing that the long-term stability of our department must remain a high priority.”
Boise State fielded 26 women on the swimming and diving roster in 2019-20, including 6 freshmen, 5 sophomores, and 10 juniors. The Broncos finished 7th at the 2020 Mountain West Conference Championships, down 4 spots from their 3rd-place finish in 2019. The team had struggled to maintain its level after Jeremy Kipp moved to Northwestern after the 2017-18 season. As the Broncos’ head coach, Kipp had been named Mountain West Swimming Coach of the Year for 2015-16, 2016-17, and 2017-18.
Boise State added women’s swimming and diving in the 2006-2007 season and under head coach Kristin Hill quickly rose to become one of the best mid-major programs in the country. That included scoring points at the 2011, 2013, and 2014 NCAA Championship meets.
Boise State will continue to support men’s basketball, cross country, football, golf, tennis, and track & field and women’s basketball, beach volleyball, cross country, golf, gymnastics, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field, and volleyball. Boise State had just brought back the men’s baseball team which had been discontinued after the 1990 season. The Broncos played only 14 games in 2020 before the season was called off due to COVID-19.
All student-athlete scholarships for the affected programs will be honored, including incoming 2020 signees Emma Willmer, Haley Benjamin, Jessica Davis, Katie Faris, Lauren Gryboski, Maddy Mickey, Maxine Catig, Samantha Nickell, Victoria Gutierrez. Support will be provided to student-athletes wishing to transfer, all of whom will be eligible immediately at their next institution, per NCAA rules.
Much like with UMass Dartmouth, which announced on Wednesday that it was cutting 8 sports, the late timing of the announcement will leave those student-athletes wishing to transfer prior to next season in a difficult position. That includes the team’s lone top 3 finishers at last year’s Mountain West Championship meet, rising junior Lucia Davis, who finished 3rd with a 4:49.04.
Other schools that have cut swimming & diving programs this summer are:
- UMass Dartmouth – men and women
- UConn – men
- East Carolina – men and women
- Tiffin – men and women
- Urbana – men and women (whole campus closed)
- Western Illinois – men and women (“suspended indefinitely”)