Forde: UConn Expected to Cut Men’s Swimming Tomorrow, Other Sports Also At-Risk

The University of Connecticut will be cutting men’s swimming tomorrow, according to a tweet from Sports Illustrated reporter Pat Forde.

Other sports at the Division I school are also expected to be on the chopping block, as athletic director David Benedict will be presenting the department’s budget proposal tomorrow, June 24.

“News: I’m told UConn is cutting men’s swimming,” reads Forde’s tweet. “Other sports likely. School set to announce cuts tomorrow.”

Other sources have told SwimSwam that the student-athletes were told that they will be able to continue training at the school for the next year under scholarship, but with no promise of any meets, due to the late timing of the announcement.

Last week, SwimSwam’s Torrey Hart wrote about the possibility of program cuts and the long-term fate of UConn athletics. The school’s athletic department reportedly must slash $10 million from its budget over the next three years. SwimSwam’s Braden Keith also wrote about the potential athletics cuts in May after the school said it would have to slim down financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic affecting revenue.

UConn shuttering the men’s swimming & diving program mirrors the closure of East Carolina’s men’s and women’s teams in May to meet a shrinking budget. Both schools are part of the American Athletic Conference; last year, the ECU men won the AAC crown while the women finished fourth of six teams; UConn’s men were fourth of four men’s teams, and their women were sixth of six women’s programs. UConn is scheduled to join the Big East next year, which leaves the AAC with just 2 men’s teams regardless.

A member of the UConn swim team told SwimSwam last week that the program also has $500,000 in pledges from an undisclosed number of alumni — there is also a GoFundMe set up called “Protect the Program – UConn Swimming & Diving” with just over $2,200 donated.

An article in the Hartford Courant on Tuesday touted the fundraising efforts of tennis, track & field, and golf programs in an effort to save their programs, but omitted any mention of swimming. The track & field program raised $1.6 million in pledges, men’s golf has around $270,000 for next year and nearly $900,000 across the next 5 years, and the tennis program has raised up to $300,000.

The timing of the cut, already near the end of June, leaves athletes in a challenging position, as the possibility of transferring, especially transferring and receiving any scholarships, will be a tough sell at this late stage of the recruiting cycle for the fall of 2020.

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Anonymous
4 months ago

Cut UConn Football

Admin
Reply to  Anonymous
4 months ago

I’m usually not in the “cut football” camp, but…a $40 million deficit is absurd. Especially when you have a basketball brand as valuable as UConn’s is. I don’t see how you can keep football under those circumstances.

$40 million isn’t “let’s tighten our belts and cut some expenses” money. It’s “let’s shift the paradigm of our collegiate athletics program” money.

Deepsouthatl
Reply to  Braden Keith
4 months ago

My assumption is they are hoping their new CBS tv deal as an independent and scheduling themselves in to rich payout buy games against the big boys to fill out non conference schedules for Power 5 teams will turn it around some. Seems crazy to me.

Admin
Reply to  Deepsouthatl
4 months ago

I think what you just described is a plague on college athletics. Everyone hopes their football team will figure it out and become the next UCF or Boise State and turn the school into some kind of darling mid-major megalith. Chasing that dream is like a drug, and these schools need rehab.

Cal fan
Reply to  Braden Keith
4 months ago

Well said Braden!

Anonymous
Reply to  Braden Keith
4 months ago

I love you

UCswim
Reply to  Braden Keith
4 months ago

Or, they should realize that they are academic institutions and not be chasing TV deals 🙂

Pvdh
Reply to  Deepsouthatl
4 months ago

UCONN should schedule Alabama, LSU, Clemson, Ohio State, Oklahoma, USC, Florida, Oregon, Michigan, and Notre Dame every year and just collect punching bag paychecks. That’s all the football team is good for and would actually bring in revenue.

Guerra
Reply to  Braden Keith
4 months ago

The football team is absolutely horrible! And they’re not even in a conference anymore…

Anonymous
Reply to  Guerra
4 months ago

Horrible, but they have a completely separate training facility from the rest of the sports, and host camps week after week. Clearly, it’s not working…

Meeeeeee
Reply to  Braden Keith
4 months ago

Read Pat Forde’s
Column on how they spent on football and kept
Losing and it will be even more clear. Eastern Michigan was the same.

Brian
Reply to  Anonymous
4 months ago

If they want to save $10M dollars, the answer is easy. Cut football! They aren’t going save money being an independent. That deficit is going to get bigger. They cut one team and the save at least $13M. UConn entered the Big East-they don’t need the burden on football anymore. If you aren’t in a power 5 conference with big TV revenue, you are most likely losing huge money on your football program.

https://www.theuconnblog.com/2020/1/16/21068282/uconn-huskies-athletic-department-financial-budget-deficit-big-east-american-athletic-conference-sux

Guerra
4 months ago

The athletic department at this school has been a trainwreck for a long long time. These cuts will be the result of years of terrible decisions and an institutional lack of values. I feel bad for the athletes.

200 SIDESTROKE B CUT
Reply to  Guerra
4 months ago

Bingo. And let’s keep the rally of comments like this coming. Over and over. They could care less if people post strings of “Ohhh so heartbreaking”; instead, attack their pride and hit them where it hurts. $40 million deficit? What private business could stay alive with that? Greed and endless digging into other people’s pockets (i.e. taxes?) to pay for their pathetic pipe dreams? Fire them all.

Guy
4 months ago

It’s sad that there are kids on the team with Olympic trials and they’re having to cut the program.

Anonymous
Reply to  Guy
4 months ago

New 90 million dollar soccer & baseball facility along with along with a 100 million on a new rec center with 2 pools already on campus. The “old soccer field” 16 years old compared to the last time the pool had major work was was when they built Gampel 30 years ago and renovated the pool for 28 million.Easy to explain why that can’t find 10 million to save 5 non revenue sports. At least that don’t loose money. Poor management and lofty unfulfilled goals. Not many scholarships in these sports, generally pay full price and increase the Athletic GPA at UCONN. What is the status of the UCONN nation now?

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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