UPDATE: After publishing, MacNeil reached out to SwimSwam to say that the new entry for her into the NCAA Transfer Portal, dated May 26, is an error and that she did not initiate re-entry into the portal, and that this was an error from the Michigan athletics department. SwimSwam has reached out to both Cal and Michigan to ask how an athlete could be unintentionally added to the portal. MacNeil declined to elaborate on whether that meant she was staying at Cal. Generally, names remain in the transfer portal with their original date even after an athlete has committed to a new program. The “initiated date” and “Last updated” dates on MacNeil’s entry were both updated on Thursday.
Reporting below has been updated.
Olympic gold medalist Maggie MacNeil’s name has been re-entered in the NCAA Transfer Portal, dated May 26, but she says that is an error.
The entry comes a day after Cal head women’s swimming & diving coach Teri McKeever was put on an administrative leave of absence yesterday. MacNeil is currently in Barcelona competing at a stop of the Mare Nostrum Swim Series.
MacNeil swam her first four years of NCAA competition at the University of Michigan. Before her senior season with the Wolverines, MacNeil said that she would explore a transfer after her senior season to use her bonus 5th year of eligibility that was afforded to all athletes who competed in the 2020-2021 collegiate season.
In March, shortly after the NCAA Championships, MacNeil announced that her destination would be Cal.
The situation has changed rapidly at Cal since then, however. First, assistant coach Dani Korman resigned and was replaced by former Dartmouth head coach Jesse Moore, and then this week, a bombshell report cited at least 19 current and former Cal swimmers who said that they suffered verbal and emotional abuse at the hands of McKeever.
In her prior round of recruitment, MacNeil indicated to coaches that it was important for her to train with a single-gender women’s program. SwimSwam has reached out to MacNeil for comment.
Entering the transfer portal does not require an athlete to transfer. Instead, it gives them more flexibility and options to discuss the possibility of transferring with other coaches.
Cal had two athletes announce incoming transfers earlier this month as well: former Florida State breaststroker Nina Kucheran, and former Arizona breaststroker Jade Nasser. Neither has re-entered the transfer portal as of yet or responded to questions about how the McKeever news impacts their decisions.
MacNeil is the defending Olympic Champion in the 100 meter butterfly. In 2021, she was the NCAA Champion in both the 100 yard fly and 100 yard free, and she also finished 2nd in the 50 free. Her 48.89 in the 100 yard fly from the 2021 NCAA Championships remains the fastest in history.
As a senior, she finished 3rd in the 50 free, 3rd in the 100 fly, and 10th in the 100 free. While at those NCAA Championships, she slipped on deck and fractured her elbow. She still swam at the Canadian Trials in April, but has announced that she will focus on relays at the World Championships.
This week in Barcelona, she still swam within three-tenths of her lifetime best in the 100 meter free.