College Recruiting is About to Get a Lot Tougher

Contributor Rick Paine is an expert on the college recruiting process. He is also the Director of Swimming at American College Connection (ACC). AAC is a Swimswam Partner. 

As if getting recruited isn’t tough enough it is about to get a whole lot tougher.

I have been recently speaking with most of the upper-level D-I coaches and they are all telling me that they are being forced to reduce their roster size for men and women.

A couple of months ago, the University of Texas announced that they were going to provide a $6,000 (approximate) stipend per year to every student-athlete at the school. This affects all student-athletes, including Walk-Ons.

Since Texas is doing this, the other D-I programs that want to compete with Texas will have to follow suit. Texas has just under 700 student-athletes at the school so we are talking about an extra $4,000,000+ that the school has to come up with each year.

Most athletic departments are not prepared for this kind of expense that wasn’t budgeted for.

Their answer is to reduce roster sizes.

It has already started. One upper-level program just cut 16 swimmers from their roster. There will be more to come.

This will have a trickle-down effect that will have a great impact on recruiting. These Walk-On’s at upper-level programs will have to find new homes. They will be taking roster spots and scholarships at lower-level schools that otherwise they would have turned down.

We are also seeing rosters filing much faster than ever before and swimming scholarships are being offered much earlier.

This will have a positive impact on college swimming because the talent will get spread out to lower-level D-I, D-II, D-III and NAIA schools. There are some great college coaches who get overlooked because they are not with one of the Big Dogs.

Combine this with the Super Senior year that will last another 3 years and you can understand why recruiting is getting that much harder.

ACC Recruiting is a SwimSwam ad partner. Go here and learn more about ACC and their team of college recruiting experts. 

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Voice of reason
5 months ago

Swim at a university that has horrible academic reputation or quit swimming and focus on academics setting you up for a bright future.

Universities now have a well developed college swim club circuit. Advice to all those high schoolers. Pick the school based on academics. Swimming ends and if you invest too much in it during college…..you will be slapped in the face by reality at the age of 30.

Also MD Also SwimDad
5 months ago

“Keeping your carpets clean is about to get a lot tougher”

-guy who sells vacuum cleaners

swimm90
5 months ago

Penn State cut 9 girls yet still has a freshman class of 8 coming in… Make it make sense

Sara
Reply to  swimm90
5 months ago

It makes no sense. It was handled very poorly by the coaching staff who have hung the possibility of cuts over these kids heads for the past 2 years. Makes for a great “team” environment and is mentally draining on all of these kids. Most are now scrambling to find spots on other teams or are faced with a decision to stay there and end their swimming career. They are ALL great kids and deserve better. The ones still on that team are also impacted. It is sad. My heart goes out to all of them for having to go through this. Should have fired the head coach and the other clowns years ago and made Posegay the head coach.… Read more »

Ann
Reply to  Sara
5 months ago

Sara, you are 100% correct!

Coachy
Reply to  Sara
5 months ago

Swimming- “we want to be respected like football or basketball”

Also swimming – “I can’t believe they are making cuts and expect their athletes to be in shape!”

Coachy
Reply to  swimm90
5 months ago

Because they saw the potential of the 9 they cut and prefer the potential of the 8 incoming.

Not real hard to understand.

Austinpoolboy
5 months ago

Penn State men were 8th out of 8 teams and the women were 10th out 12th (ahead of only perpetual doormat Illinois and barely resuscitated Iowa), so no, they aren’t even pretending to compete seriously within their own conference, let alone with Texas or any other national power. They’re lucky the AD didn’t just whack the program like they did at MSU and partially at Iowa. As I understand it, the Big 10 reconfigured # of swimmers allowed at conference, so huge teams make little sense, especially for a PSU that it didn’t pay off as well as it does for say, OSU.

swimm90
Reply to  Austinpoolboy
5 months ago

It would make sense if next years freshman class at Penn State didn’t have 8 girls coming in………

Last edited 5 months ago by swimm90
The Flip Side
Reply to  swimm90
5 months ago

So it would have made more sense to keep those 9 girls and have no freshman coming in at all? I understand what you’re saying, but the team still has to have a future and you need recruiting classes every year coming in to do that.

Sara
Reply to  The Flip Side
5 months ago

Honestly it doesn’t matter they will threaten them with cuts their entire time there too … its sad but this is their strategy at getting kids to swim faster when all they are really doing is stressing them out mentally. Not good for anyone.

Marty
5 months ago

Interesting that the director of a swimming recruiting service put out an article about how difficult it will be to be recruited. It’s almost like they are hoping people will look into recruiting services after reading this article…

Read plz
Reply to  Marty
5 months ago

It’s very clearly labeled as partner content. Anyone who doesn’t realize this is an ad simply isn’t paying attention.

SwimFan49
Reply to  Marty
5 months ago

It doesn’t necessarily make what he’s saying untrue, though. It is actually possible for two things to be true at once. Whether Paine is correct is TBD, but it certainly seems reasonably foreseeable.

wolfensf
5 months ago

There might be some trickle down effect but there is also going to be I won’t be swimming in college effect.

PVSFree
Reply to  wolfensf
5 months ago

College Club Swimming is about to get a lot faster

Some Guy
Reply to  PVSFree
5 months ago

It’s already wild tbh

swimster
Reply to  Some Guy
5 months ago

and Michigan State’s swim club placed second at CCS nationals …

PFA
Reply to  Some Guy
5 months ago

Yeah MSU’s club team has a lot of its varsity roster Swimming there and at club nationals, the women’s team won with Kasey venn who is their top breaststroker winning the high point award.

boop
Reply to  PFA
5 months ago

and I bet they had a lot of fun. Good for them!

Swammer
Reply to  Some Guy
5 months ago

Just swam at CCS Nats, can confirm that the speed and depth is already crazy

Gorge
Reply to  wolfensf
5 months ago

Plenty of other places to swim besides D1

swim4fun
5 months ago

If this leads to top swimmers spreading to more programs instead of just Cal/Texas for men, Stanford/Virginia for women, this may not be a bad thing. College swimming needs more parity.

mcmflyguy
Reply to  swim4fun
5 months ago

you’ll see them go to Cal/Texas still, those coaches have proven time and time again they are the best, and that will attract the best.

Dan
Reply to  mcmflyguy
5 months ago

I agree, but what if they have to turn away about 16 more swimmers (not every year but as a whole so 4 fewer every year)? So we are not talking about the choice of the swimmer but a decision that the school/coaches have to take.

swimforfun
Reply to  swim4fun
5 months ago

This sounds like updating the OT trials cuts. The top 20-30 swimmers will not be affected, and they’ll go for the top schools anyway, so only the “average” kids will have to run around to pick up whatever it’s left. It will be great to have a more equal distribution of the talent, but limiting the team size will impact the swimmers that really love this sport but are not considered elite. Hopefully, the ambition to make it, and to get into a college team will push the kids to work harder and be faster. This way the quality of the dual meets should also improve. Anyway it’s a sad situation.

Voice of reason
Reply to  swim4fun
5 months ago

You go to Cal and Stanford because of the academics

GowdyRaines
5 months ago

Gonna see more swimmers go to school local and continue to train with their club coaches. If they’re not swimming for a ‘name’ there’s a decent chance there is a club coach local to them just as good. This will be interesting to see play out.

Last edited 5 months ago by GowdyRaines
Swimpop
Reply to  GowdyRaines
5 months ago

Huh? If they’re not good enough for a name, you think they’re still thinking they should forgo the countless opportunities at mid major schools and train at a club, for why again?