LaGrange College, an NCAA Division III school located in LaGrange, Georgia, has announced that it will eliminate its swimming and women’s lacrosse programs as part of a school-wide cust-cutting program.
In addition to the changes in athletics, the school will remove “majors and minors that have shown little demand from our students,” according to a letter sent to employees by college president Susanna Baxter on Monday.
The school, which enrolled 995 students in the fall of 2019. According to data from the U.S. Department of Education, the number of full-time undergraduates is 827. Of those, 343, or approximately 41.4% of the full-time undergraduate student body, are athletes.
Federal data, however, counts only 8 male and 6 female swimmers on the team for this season, while women’s lacrosse has 16 athletes on the roster. That means this move will impact approximately 30 student-athletes.
The school’s roster has been stagnant at around 13 or 14 athletes for several years. While EADA data shows 14 team members, the school’s published web roster lists only 7 athletes for the 2021 season, including just 1 female swimmer.
The school competed in a brief collegiate season in 2021, and they ultimately finished 4th out of 4 teams in both the men’s and women’s meet at the Georgia Small College Championships.
In 2020, the school competed at the Suncoast Swimming Conference Championship meet, where the men placed 2nd behind only NAIA program Keiser University. The women didn’t score at the conference meet in 2020, and were 7th out of 7 teams in 2019.
LaGrange College has an annual tuition of $32,000 for the 2020-2021 academic year, and because they are an NCAA Division III school do not offer athletic scholarships. The pool does have an on-campus natatorium with both indoor and outdoor pools, but a note on the school’s website says that “Mechanical problems at the natatorium have required the closure of the pool until further notice.” The school does offer swim lessons to the public at the on-campus pool in the summer.
According to Mat Talk Online, a wrestling site that has been tracking college athletics cust across all sports over the last year, 20 collegiate swimming and diving program have been cut since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020. Among Division III schools, besides LaGrange, that also counts the women’s program at Mills College in Oakland and the men’s and women’s programs at UMass Dartmouth.