Iowa Projects Lost Revenue of $100M, Rules Out Fundraising To Save Cut Teams

The University of Iowa says postponing fall sports cost the school about $100 million in lost revenue, and ruled out the possibility of fundraising to save the cut swimming & diving programs.

Iowa announced today that it would be cutting four sports teams – including women’s and men’s swimming & diving – at the end of the 2020-2021 school year.

The school sent out an open letter from school president Bruce Harreld and athletic director Gary Barta, along with a FAQ or ‘frequently asked questions’ document about the cuts.

“With the Big Ten Conference’s postponement of fall competition on August 11, UI Athletics now projects lost revenue of approximately $100M and an overall deficit between $60-75M this fiscal year,” the letter says. “A loss of this magnitude will take years to overcome. We have a plan to recover, but the journey will be challenging.”

One important note: Iowa called its decision “final,” and ruled out the possibility of donors or fundraising campaigns reinstating any of the four cut programs.

“While we are grateful for our many loyal and generous donors, private support simply cannot meet the escalating and compounding costs of supporting excellence across the board,” the FAQ document says. The school also says that school endowments typically have restrictions on how the money is used, and said endowments themselves also can’t support the costs of the cut teams.

Several other cut programs this offseason have attempted to fundraise their way back to reinstatement, but no teams have yet been reinstated. A campaign to save East Carolina’s team raised upwards of $700,000, but the athletic director has suggested the program needs $1.6 million a year to bring the team back. Dartmouth has raised about $1.3 million and has argued that cutting swimming & diving, among a few other sports, has reduced the athletic department’s Asian-American student population.

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3 years ago

It’s unAmerican to complain about capitalism. College sports is obscenely distorted by money. In fact, our entire higher educational system enslaves most graduates to crushing, insurmountable debt, but that’s ok because….capitalism! It’s all about the pursuit of money, no matter what the social cost. If swimming can’t make a profit, what use is it to keep it around? Just dragging down legitimate revenue sports. Competition has a few winners and a lot of losers, right? Yeah America.

3 years ago

Oh my garsh! C’mon ‘n give! Rockin’ n’ a rollin’, rockin’ ‘n a rollin’, rockin’ cross the USA.

Last edited 3 years ago by Tateyambrose
Iowa Swim Fan
3 years ago

Two Iowa FB assistant coaches are paid base salaries of over $800,000. Each. Yearly. Other assistant FB coaches make more than $300,000 per year. All total, before bonuses, the assistant Iowa FB coaches yearly nut before bonuses is 5.5 million. Have those salaries been cut yet?!?

Frankie 5 Angels
3 years ago

Sadly, Iowa won’t be the last college/university with a budget shortfall.

3 years ago

What??? Iowa? No fricking way!

3 years ago

In convo with team wAD Barta assistant AD explained national interest was a factor and that “even SwimSwam magazine says college swimming is on the decline.”

Reply to  FormerHawk👁
3 years ago

Sounds like a lie. Either you’re lying and it was never said, or the AD was lying. Any AD who would make a cut using that as actual criteria should be fired.

Blame lies squarely on the shoulders of the coaches, alumni, and AD for lack of financial foresight. This program should’ve been building an endowment for the last 90 years. They shouldn’t have spent so much money on that pool that is now an anchor around their necks, and then spend another $6 million to upgrade the timing system, when a pool half the grandeur would’ve done the trick.

If you take all of that money, the donations they should’ve been getting and the pool costs, and put it… Read more »

Mrs. Swimming
3 years ago

How can a collegiate swimming program take over a million dollars each year to run? That $1.6 million figure from East Carolina sounds absolutely wild. No way to run a more cost-effective program?

Reply to  Mrs. Swimming
3 years ago

Potentially pool maintenance costs? That is really the only big ticket item.

Reply to  Mrs. Swimming
3 years ago

because they include scholarships. which is a slight-of-hand because scholarships are not a cost. They are not received revenue. So for them to “recoup” a scholarship cost after cutting a sport they’d have to bring in as many tuition paying students.

Anyways, it is all about football. I learned this 2+ years ago when the Eastern Michigan chair of their board told me so.

Reply to  meeeee
3 years ago

This may be obvious but… they have to pay coaches too, which probably adds to at least 300k

Speed Racer
Reply to  Mrs. Swimming
3 years ago

Their total operating expenses last year were $507,000

3 years ago

wasnt this school paying its strength and conditioning coach 800K annually?

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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