Iowa To Cut Women’s & Men’s Swimming & Diving After 2020-2021 Season

A report from Fansided’s says that the University of Iowa will cut men’s and women’s swimming & diving, along with two other sports in a press conference later today.

Update: the school has confirmed the news in a press release.

Iowa will hold a press conference at 12:30 today, DearOldGold reports on Twitter. DearOldGold is an Iowa Hawkeyes-focused website that is part of Fansided’s multi-site sports network. The tweet says that Iowa will cut four programs (swimming & diving, men’s gymnastics, men’s tennis) at the end of this school year, news that another source has confirmed to SwimSwam.

Iowa competes in the Big Ten, which announced this month it would be postponing the fall football season. Iowa was already facing about $15 million in athletics budget reductions due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, and that was before the cancelation of football.

The Hawkeyes finished 9th among 13 women’s programs and 6th among 10 men’s programs at the 2020 Big Ten Championships. They had qualified two women and two men for the NCAA Championships, which were canceled amid the coronavirus pandemic.

An Iowa cut would be by far the biggest program cut in an offseason that has already been brutal for college swimming at the Division I level. Five schools in Division I have already cut swimming & diving programs this offseason:

  • Boise State (women)
  • UConn (men)
  • Dartmouth (women & men)
  • East Carolina (women & men)
  • Western Illionis (women & men) – indefinitely suspended

You can see a full list of the aquatic program cuts so far this offseason here.

Iowa would be the first Power-5 school to cut swimming & diving programs in both genders since Clemson eliminated their men’s swimming & diving and women’s swimming programs in 2012. More recently, Clemson cut women’s diving in 2017, and Oregon State cut its women’s swimming & diving program last year.

An Iowa cut would also be surprising because the school has one of the nation’s better (and newer) facilities. The $69 million Campus Recreation and Wellness Center opened just ten years ago in 2010. (The school put $5-6 million into pool repairs just last summer).

That pool has already hosted multiple Big Ten Championships along with the 2015 Men’s NCAA Championships. Iowa is also the host of the 2021 Men’s NCAA Championships – if the reports are correct, that would be the potential last meet for Iowa’s program before it’s eliminated.

Update: Iowa president Bruce Harreld and athletic director Gary Barta released the following statement:

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a financial exigency which threatens our continued ability to adequately support 24 intercollegiate athletics programs at the desired championship level. 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. A loss of this magnitude will take years to overcome. We have a plan to recover, but the journey will be challenging.

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pete kennedy
3 years ago

First and foremost Marc Long, the Iowa coach, is being attacked by outside forces with no factual evidence but based on “hear say”.

The comments especially by DP Spellman are apparently designed to attack the very character of a fellow coach Marc Long. The coaching community, at every level should be up in arms that a member coach would use a public form, Swim Swam, to make what appears to be slanderous accusations to a world wide audience !

Although I firmly believe in the right to free expression, I firmly resent the use of this forum to air what appears to be an EXCEEDINGLY HARMFUL personal vendetta !

DP Spellman
Reply to  pete kennedy
1 year ago

Coach Pete, You might want to actually dig a bit deeper here since you don’t coach in the state of Iowa. I stand by EVERYTHING that I have said and written about this situation. I’ll even defend anything that I have uttered or posted in a court of law.

This whole situation is a mess and Marc contributed to it. He made his decisions and deals with bad people in a toxic Univ. of Iowa administration and got burned in the end. He threw me and a lot of others under the Cambus a long time ago. I refuse to lie or be a victim.

If we ever meet in person feel free to walk the other way.

3 years ago

Which school will be the next to announce they are dropping swimming?

3 years ago

If the season were to commence, looks like upwards of 85 % of the teams have entered the transfer portal and the Hawks would struggle to put together a line up.

dan wattsen
3 years ago

A victim of the pandemic or decade-long mediocre head coach, staff and programming? 🤔

Last edited 3 years ago by dan wattsen
3 years ago

I feel sucker punched…former swimmer and assistant coach.

3 years ago

It would seem these universities are putting students last on the priority list. Have coaches and teacher salaries been cut?

Reply to  Max
3 years ago

At Iowa, Athletics staff have taken pay cuts, including 25% by the AD –,percent%20slash%20in%20his%20salary.

I think any time there’s conversations about cutting costs from the academics side (or pulling money from academic endowments) to save athletics, there’s no chance for that to happen. At most schools, the academic side already subsidizes athletics, and they’re generally not going to be keen to do more of that.

DP Spellman
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

Iowa has time and time again under Gary Barta’s leadership shown itself to be amazingly dysfunctional. Bruce Harreld was not qualified nor competent at his job as well. In fact, he really was not in Iowa City very often during his entire tenure.

Corn Pop
3 years ago

The Democrat Primaries were indeed portentious. Is there an alpha bull that can read the runes in Iowa ? Their time is now , bring them out , Give us a sign .

Reply to  Corn Pop
3 years ago

Dude you must be a relative to Joey B or Carli B!

Does Anyone Really Want A National Mask Mandate?
3 years ago

Sad day for the Hawkeyes. Sad day for college sports.

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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