Rutgers Expects to Redshirt a Significant Portion of its Swim & Dive Roster

by Spencer Penland 13

January 10th, 2021 Big Ten, College, News

Big Ten school Rutgers will be redshirting many of its swimmers and divers for the 2020-2021 season.

Head coach Jon Maccoll has confirmed to SwimSwam that Rutgers’ roster is “fluid” at the moment. Covid-19 protocols appear to be the main reason for the Scarlet Knights’ current dilemma.

According to what Maccoll has told us so far, they currently have 3 swimmers and 3 divers on campus training, as they did throughout most of the fall semester. Maccoll declined to name those swimmers and divers at this time, though the roster will become more clear when the team competes next weekend in a tri meet with Ohio State and Penn State.

The Women’s Big Ten Championships are scheduled to begin on February 24th, just 45 days from when this post was written. Given that each swimmer will have to quarantine upon arrival to Rutgers’ campus, that leaves very little time for swimmers to prepare for the conference championships.

SwimSwam is set to have Maccoll on the SwimSwam Podcast next week to discuss the situation.

“Student athlete well-being and health has always been a major priority at Rutgers athletics; this year especially,” said Maccoll. “I felt that during tough times we needed to make decisions rooted in the values of our school, athletic department, and our program. Through the tremendous support of our administration we have been able to execute our plan to minimize uncertainty, give a great athletic experience(in many forms), deliver a first class education, and provide physical and mental health support to our athletes. Though unorthodox we have achieved that thus far in the 2020-21 season.”

Rutgers is planning primarily remote instruction for the spring semester, after a fully-remote fall semester. There will be a few in-person classes at the main campus in New Brunswick, including lab research, studio courses, and clinical instruction, and some students will be allowed on campus.

Maccoll was named head coach in December of 2017, and since then, the program has improved steadily. In the 2018-2019 season, Maccoll’s first full season at the helm, Rutgers won its first-ever Big Ten Championships medals, earning 3 that year. Rutgers joined the conference in 2014.

The Scarlet Knights also had 3 NCAA qualifiers that season, which was the most qualified athletes for the team since 2007. In the 2019-2020 season, Maccoll oversaw the 50, 100, and 200 free team records broken, as well as the 200 free and 400 free relay.

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Swimmmer
8 months ago

Pretty much a pointless thing to do when everyone receives an extra year of eligibility anyway

Swimmmer
Reply to  Swimmmer
8 months ago

Your last point is irrelevant. If they redshirt, they would still have to stay a 5th year.

MickeyMouse
Reply to  Swimmmer
8 months ago

I disagree, I think that’s an incredibly relevant point. A fall sport athlete could much more easily stretch out their undergrad degree by one semester to compete in an extra season and graduate in the fall. A swimmer looking to take advantage of an extra season of eligibility often must commit to a full extra year of school. For someone who had already planned to complete their course load in 4 years, suddenly adding an extra 24 credits minimum could be tricky unless they’re willing to change career plans and tack on a graduate degree. There are a lot of career/financial/athletic/life considerations that would come into play with that full extra year, and it’ll likely be a lot to take… Read more »

B1G Daddy
Reply to  MickeyMouse
8 months ago

Still irrelevant. The athletes that don’t want to stretch that 5th year still won’t.

CoachD
8 months ago

How does this affect scholarship distribution? Even if the college is allowed more scholarships for 1 year, do they have the additional funds? Does anyone know how this works? Just curious.

Swimmmer
Reply to  CoachD
8 months ago

Usually it’s on a school by school basis. Sometimes the athletic departments will foot the bill for the extra scholarships and sometimes the administration will say you have to keep within your given number set by the institution

B1G Daddy
Reply to  CoachD
8 months ago

You’re asking the right questions. Wisconsin, led by AD Barry Alvarez, has already made it clear last spring that they do not intend to fund these additional years that the B1G and NCAA have granted. As he explained, the athletes awarded that additional year need to “move on with your life.”

https://www.wisconsin.golf/college/ncaa_division_i/move-on-with-your-life-barry-alvarez-tells-departing-badgers-in-denying-ncaas-extra-year/article_adbe040a-7aa1-11ea-80fb-1f71b49a17dd.html

The story here is that Rutgers seems to be insinuating that they WILL fun the additional years.

Last edited 8 months ago by B1G Daddy
Stewie
8 months ago

Rutgers has a swim team?

SKNIGHT
Reply to  Stewie
8 months ago

If you have been paying close attention to what Rutgers has been doing the last few years you wouldn’t be so condescending and insulting. Their swim program has been recruiting at a top 20 level for 2 classes now, they are breaking school records(more than what is listed in the article), qualifying athletes for NCAAs, and doing it while staying committed to there internationals students goals outside of college swimming. This program was not a rebuild its a start over Rutgers hasn’t been notionally competitive for around 15 years and hasn’t had a national reputation of excellence since the 70s. Having Rutgers rise back to national prominence(it still has a long way to go) is good for all swim programs… Read more »

Last edited 8 months ago by SKNIGHT
Swim2swim
Reply to  SKNIGHT
8 months ago

Agreed. The team has had some bumpy years since the men’s program was cut. They have had four coaches in the past decade, transitioned from the Big East to the AAC to the Big 10, and have struggled to build momentum well through that.
That being said, Jon is the real deal and seems committed to building something long term at Rutgers. They have been percolating under the surface a bit since he’s arrived (improvements when you are at the bottom of the Big 10 often go unnoticed), and I believe they will surprise quite a few people come 2022 championship season.

Swim2swim
8 months ago

The team also has quite a few foreign athletes focused on Olympic qualification in their home countries. With travel related quarantining required in most countries, traveling to a qualifying meet in their home country might be significant missed training. I think this is a smart move.

HuntleyJones
8 months ago

Meh. Not really a big deal since they don’t have many NCAA contending swimmers. IIRC, they didn’t score a single point at 2019 NCAAs.

SKNIGHT
Reply to  HuntleyJones
8 months ago

That is true, but they did have 3 athletes at the meet the first time in a while. They are building momentum. They also had a swimmer get 17th place by .01.