Eastern Michigan Cuts Men’s Swimming & Diving Team After 34 MAC Titles

Division I Eastern Michigan University has announced that it will cut its men’s swimming & diving team. The program is one of 4 that the university will drop, reducing its sport offerings from 21 to 17. Women’s swimming & diving is not being cut, with softball, women’s tennis, and wrestling being the other 3 sports that the school will drop. The school previously had the richest sport offering in the Mid-American Conference, and will remain in that conference after the drops.

The decision impacts 58 male student-athletes and 24 female student athletes and is expected to eventually lead to a $2.4 million expense reduction.

Director of athletics Scott Wetherbee said the announcement was made in mid-March in order to “allow the student-athletes as much time as possible to find new schools at which they can continue in their sports, if they choose to do so.”

The Eastern Michigan swimming & diving season ended last weekend at the women’s NCAA Championship meet, where Delaney Duncan of the unaffected women’s team became the school’s first-ever female swimming A-Finalist at NCAAsJacob Hanson was the school’s most recent male first team All-American, having placed 4th in the 200 back at the 2013 NCAA Championships and 7th the year prior.

EMU’s men’s team finished 2nd at this year’s MAC Championships out of 6 teams, but won the 3 previous titles and 34 title since the MAC started sponsoring men’s swimming in 1953.

“We are very saddened by having to make this move, which is necessary as we continue to align the University budget with enrollment and state funding trends,” said University President James Smith. “This aligns us with our Mid-American Conference peers in total number of sports, and is part of our ongoing effort to realign resources to ensure that we continue to invest in high-demand high-quality academic programs and world-class facilities.”

“The student-athletes affected by this are our priority. We will honor all athletics scholarships for the students should they decide to remain at Eastern to complete their degrees, which we hope they will.”

“We understand that some may leave Eastern to continue their sport at another university, and we have committed to offering them our full support in that process. We have wonderful student-athletes, coaches and athletics staff here at Eastern who make a tremendous contribution to campus life – in competition, in class and in our greater community. This is a difficult day for all of them, and for all of us.”

Members of the swimming & diving team were notified late on Monday evening that they had a mandatory meeting on Monday morning at 7:30. The news was released publicly by the university while the swimmers were in that meeting being told directly.

About 80% of Eastern Michigan’s athletics department is subsidized by the school’s general fund, meaning that about $1,000 of each Eastern Michigan student’s tuition goes toward athletics. According to the USA Today, in the 2015-2016 season, that was $24 million out of a $30 million budget. Most of that money goes to the football team, which the school is required to have to be a member in the MAC, and a team that finished 5-7 last season. The school also announced a recent $35 million on athletic upgrades, mostly on a practice facility for the school’s football and soccer teams.

The University at Buffalo, another MAC team, announced a cut in its men’s swimming program at the end of last season.

Eastern Michigan’s football program has won 1 MAC Conference title in its history, in 1987. The softball program won 1 MAC softball conference tournament title in 2007 (the MAC has sponsored softball since 1982), the men’s wrestling team has won 1 MAC title (1996), and women’s tennis has won 1 MAC title (1998).

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Dave Remos

Well Miami just keeps moving up the rankings by default. Hollie’s vision for her team is coming to fruition. Good for her.


What you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it


A simple no woulda done the trick

Coach John

if you can’t handle a Van Wilder quote you need to step away from the net. that was spot on


It’s Billy Madison


Don’t worry Miami will be next


That’s the dumbest thing i’ve read in a long time.

Shame on You

The team with 34 MAC championships was just cut, devastating 30 athletes and their families, and all you can think about is how another team will move up in rankings? shame on you.


What does another school’s program have to do with a program being cut at EMU? Stick to the topic and give up bashing a female coach.

Dave Remos

whoa! why cant she be a just “a coach”? why do you have to bring up the fact that she’s a female?


Dave considering all your posts on here are consistently bashing Miami Ohio and their head coach, no matter what the topic may be about, makes one wonder what the point of it all is. I only wish SwimSwam moderators did a better job at protecting coaches and athletes in these comments better from defamatory/slanderous allegations. Especially when in not relation to the current topic. Just google “Dave Remos” and swim, 7 hits. All SwimSwam articles harassing Hollie and Miami Ohio Swimming.

paul goyet

You bring up a very good point! He should put his real name on the posts just like everybody does on here.

alexis texas

It’s 2018 and I think it’s totally inappropriate for someone to assume what gender anyone else identifies as! Whether it’s male, female, cis, zi, re or gy! So rude!

Dave Remos

Should be 9 hits but who’s counting.


I’m guessing the original poster did not think this comment out. Frankly, it is quite hurtful. A loss of any swim program is a loss for our entire community. No one is winning here. It is sad for the swimmers and families affected and it is sad for all of us. Let me suggest that you delete this comment. SwimSwam should be a place where we support one another.

Swim Mom, not a coach.

Well said swim Mom. Frankly I think it’s disgusting for Eastern to cut any of the teams, for the sake of “budget”..ie more money in their pockets. This has to stop. We are asking ALL teams, take a picture with a simple sign, #SaveEMUswimanddive and a call or two to the AD’s office would be a great idea as well. (The same AD who is from the south and clllllll about football…smh)

The Screaming Viking!

absolutely disgusting


they seem to cut down the fundings for a wonderful sport ….not the first time we have heard that . A Real shame , i agree on that

Nick Gayes

My heart goes out to EMU. Says a lot about our priorities when a top tier team with that kind of history, getting it done in the pool and classroom, can’t survive. It’s a real shame.


Scrap 4 more sports teams to save a losing football squad? Stoopid is as stoopid does.

John mehki

Of course y’all know why football stays? Has to, for university to remain in specific tier. AND, nobody buys a ticket to watch swim meets. I speak from personal experience having been a springboard guy at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, MI from ‘72 to ‘76. Water was always cold up there. My HS coache’s boy Tom Michael (we were both state champs) was Eastern’s diving coach for years. He coaches in Australia now. What a great bunch of lads there. I had a ball and was never allowed to buy a beer.

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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