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

A report from Fansided’s DearOldGold.com 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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Swimmer
1 year ago

Dark times ahead for swimming

Rocket
Reply to  Swimmer
1 year ago

This won’t be the last one

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  Swimmer
1 year ago

if it was only for swimming but it goes way deeper now

Justin Thompson
Reply to  Swimmer
1 year ago

Dominoes starting to fall. You don’t take a year off and nothing happens.

James Beam
1 year ago

Sad day…..I wonder if any of them can transfer right now or is it too late if other colleges have started?

Rick Paine
Reply to  James Beam
1 year ago

It’s possible, but late. They could transfer at the semester.

Ken
Reply to  James Beam
1 year ago

Is any team in the water?

GA Boy
Reply to  Ken
1 year ago

Lots of teams are in the water.

Justin Thompson
Reply to  James Beam
1 year ago

Where are they going to transfer to? Only a handful of football programs still playing and how football goes so goes swimming to a large extent.

Swimmin85
Reply to  Justin Thompson
1 year ago

Go to mid major schools WITHOUT football

CA_LAWYER
Reply to  Swimmin85
1 year ago

Are there any still clinging to a season?

Fiveos
Reply to  CA_LAWYER
1 year ago

Horizon League is still a go, just delayed.

Deepsouth
Reply to  CA_LAWYER
1 year ago

Same for big east

Vanilla Gorilla
1 year ago

Ugh, this is terrible news

CA_LAWYER
Reply to  Vanilla Gorilla
1 year ago

At least the students are safe.

Sid Frisco
Reply to  CA_LAWYER
1 year ago

From what? That’s just ignorant. Safe from what?

CU_2023
Reply to  Sid Frisco
1 year ago

Safe from Covid-19. If you followed the comments in any of the Covid stories on Swimswam this past month and read the comments section you would know that they are split between accepting the risk vs. postponing events. So on one side of the coin it sucks the season is cancelled but on the other everything from online classes to cancelling sports is done to keep the students, faculty, staff, officials, and fans safe.

Hot Take
1 year ago

Fs in chat

Cody Miller's dolphin kick(s)
Reply to  Hot Take
1 year ago

F…

Just A Swammer
1 year ago

Wow I’m shocked. They have that awesome facility that has hosted NCAA’s and multiple big ten’s before. A good program as well that just so happens to be in one of the toughest conferences in collegiate swimming. This really stinks.

JCO
Reply to  Just A Swammer
1 year ago

They’re also supposed to host Men’s NCAAs this year. Any time we lose a team is incredibly tough for our sport

Suz
Reply to  Just A Swammer
1 year ago

It time

exswimcoach
Reply to  Suz
1 year ago

Time for what?

Crown
1 year ago

No wayyyy

Swimmy1
1 year ago

Disgusting

Former Big10
1 year ago

Marc was a joke of a coach, and so is the athletic department. Would much rather have seen a staffing overhaul. Why are they keeping baseball and golf?

B1G
Reply to  Former Big10
1 year ago

Read the room

Truther
Reply to  B1G
1 year ago

Nah man, he’s spot on. The coach and AD are walking train wrecks.

Maverick
Reply to  Truther
1 year ago

elaborate on why

DP Spellman
Reply to  Former Big10
1 year ago

There are multi systems problems with the University of Iowa Athletic Department and the upper administration.
Marc Long’s issues were rampant and ongoing with his team’s culture problems, recruiting problems, keeping good assistant coaches around, and just being honest with people (especially club coaches).
I feel terrible for the athletes involved.

PsychoDad
Reply to  DP Spellman
1 year ago

DP, we exchange messages about this once awhile. You know much more about Iowa swimming program than I do since you live in Iowa City and coach a club. But, I watched Iowa Swimmers and Marc last March at the American Short Course Champs. About 10 of them came. I liked how they competed, how they cheered for each other, and how they interacted with Marc. Iowa swam solid this year and with addition of Brian Schrader they looked like turning the corner. And then this happened.

Former Big10
Reply to  PsychoDad
1 year ago

That was do to Brian. Brian is a great coach, who had multiple all-american’s at a mid-major. They won their conference, what, 6 years in a row? Marc has had a world class facility, a great opportunity to build after the class of 2012, but the program has stayed mediocre. He has NEVER finished in the top half of the BIG!!!!!
More is coming out about the athletics department, too. The school is a mess. There is a lot of dirty laundry, and I can’t wait for it to come out.

For what it’s worth
Reply to  Former Big10
1 year ago

You seem to have a lot of free time on your hands to bash iowa swimming & diving… feeling very sorry for you! I am not sure how someone could be awaiting possible bad news that would hurt even more athletes that have worked hard to get to the point of being a varsity athlete at a division 1 big ten university… does not reaaaaallllllly seem like you feel thaaaaaat “bad for the athletes involved” … seems more like finding comfort in their misery? Yikes.

Former Big10
Reply to  For what it’s worth
1 year ago

The swimmers will find new homes. It’s a bummer, but hopefully not the end of the line for their careers. If they’re good enough to swim at a B1G school, there will be other options for them.

I don’t feel bad for the department/staff members. A business, that is run properly, should not be in this position.

How Marc handled team issues, from at least 2008-2017, was extremely poor. That’s a fact. Maybe he’s turned it around, but the team is still performing about the same.

DP Spellman
Reply to  PsychoDad
1 year ago

They did post some decent results the last two seasons. I saw them compete a few times too. Outside of the women’s team having an illness right before Big Ten’s two years ago there was some consistency in the water. The problem was keeping good Asst. like Brian Schrader, Ashley Dell, Kirk Hampleman, and others around Iowa City for longer periods of time.

There were issues were on the recruiting side with consistency. Many times there was little to no follow up after visits and it was less aggressive than other schools in the Midwest. I know quite a few club coaches that felt burned by how Iowa would recruit over places like Mizzou, ISU, Minnesota, and others.

Marc… Read more »

DP Spellman
Reply to  PsychoDad
1 year ago

I should also add a lot of my problems with the University of Iowa stemmed from how they acted from 2009 and 2010 when they allowed a few employees (including a UI Vice Presidents wife) to recklessly form a club team owned by UI Recreational Services. There were threats and manipulation along with some illegal recruiting of families of my old team. I have emails and proof of all of the USA-Swimming Code of Conduct issues. I filed a complaint with our LSC and communicated to the Iowa Board of Regents about all of it.
Marc Long didn’t help matters but he was really put into a compromised position by that point by the UI administration since they just… Read more »

For what it’s worth
Reply to  DP Spellman
1 year ago

Team culture problems? We don’t know her.
I know for a fact Marc actually spent multiple years focusing on building team character … Multiple books, meetings to discuss the books read and apply to sport & team culture, presentations, activities, team building exercises, etc. ….. please cite your sources.

DP Spellman
Reply to  For what it’s worth
1 year ago

Former athletes (including my own), former UI staff coaches, people in Iowa City, and current & former employees of the University.

I helped hire Marc at the Iowa City Eels.
I was Marc’s assistant coach at the Eels for 2.5 years.
I helped run meets at the University for 3 years as a volunteer.
I rented and ran practices at the Fieldhouse pool in the summers for 7 years (while Iowa Hawkeyes swimmers joined my club for the long course season).
I roomed with Marc at multiple meets (including 2008 Olympic Trials and multiple Sectionals meets).
I hired 6 former University of Iowa swimmers as Asst. Coaches in my past 22 years as Head Coach… Read more »

SWIMFAN5
Reply to  DP Spellman
1 year ago

So I take it you do not hang out with Marc anymore…

Mathew O'Brien
Reply to  Former Big10
1 year ago

You’re a joke of a commenter. Way to hide behind your keyboard and make comments. My daughter swam at Iowa and had a great experience. Marc and his coaches do a great job of creating a great atmosphere and also in helping the student athletes prepare for life after swimming. The athletic department could use some guidance.

Former Big10
Reply to  Mathew O'Brien
1 year ago

The only joke, here, is the Iowa athletics department.
Guess your daughter wasn’t on the teams that had multiple arrests, team gpa below 2.8, sexual misconduct, weird dismissals of assistants, lack of academic support through the LC, oh the academic advisor that was fired for sexual misconduct, team members arrested at BIG10…letters were written to the AD regarding these issues were ignored… but shall I go on?

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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