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.