The administration at the University of New Mexico unveiled a plan on Wednesday to make a $1.15 million dent in their $1.9 million deficit-reduction plan. Included in that plan is the cutting of 4 programs altogether. Swimming had been in that conversation at points in the process, but ultimately was spared the fate, as the school instead decided to cut beach volleyball, men’s soccer, men’s skiing, and women’s skiing.
That doesn’t mean that the swimming & diving program has been wholly spared, however. In a press conference on Wednesday, athletics director Eddie Nunez said that women’s swimming & diving, along with men’s cross country and track, would face significant roster changes. For the aquatics program, that means the elimination of the diving program, and an increase in roster spots for women’s swimming.
Part of the motivation for that is that the on-campus Johnson Center, which has a 6-lane, 25-yard pool and a 50-meter pool, lacks diving platforms.
The decisions are pending a ratification vote by the Board of Regents, which is happening as this article is being published (and can be watched live here, through the Albuquerque Journal).
New Mexico’s women’s swimming & diving team ultimately finished 6th out of 10 teams at last year’s Mountain West Conference championship meet behind winners Boise State. The school’s divers scored 105.5 of the team’s 673.5 points; New Mexico was 102.5 points ahead of 10th-place San Jose State at the conference championship meet. Ironically, in spite of not having diving platforms on campus, New Mexico’s divers scored more points on the platform (42) than in either the 1-meter (32) or 3-meter (31.5) events.
Of a 10-member incoming recruiting class for next season, 2 are divers: Jocelyn Gallais from Lumsden, Saskatchewan, Canada and Daphne Scheck from the Conroe Diving Club in the northern suburbs of Houston.
The 4 programs being cut are the 4 that do not compete in the Mountain West Conference.