Sisters Talia Bates and Georgia Bates have both entered the NCAA transfer portal, seeking new programs for the 2023-2024 season.
Younger sister Georgia spent two seasons at the University of Florida and will have two seasons of NCAA eligibility remaining. Older sister Talia swam for four seasons with the Gators, and is seeking to transfer using her bonus 5th year to start a graduate degree somewhere else.
Both swimmers are natives of Gainesville, Florida, home to the University of Florida. Georgia entered the portal a few weeks ago, while Bates entered on Monday after the conclusion of the NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships.
“I have loved my time as a Gator,” Talia told SwimSwam on Monday. “I was born and raised in Gainesville and my parents were both athletes at the University of Florida, so I am very thankful for the opportunity to have been able to follow in their footsteps. I am proud of everything my team and I have accomplished these past four years, however, I am looking forward to exploring some new opportunities to pursue a graduate degree while taking advantage of my 5th year of eligibility!”
Talia is majoring in Sustainability and the Built Environment at Florida, and says she’s hoping to pursue construction management or real estate in graduate school.
Georgia, the younger of the two sisters, swam her last race on January 13 in the Gators’ dual meet against Florida Atlantic. She wasn’t part of the Gators’ SEC Championship team in either of her two collegiate seasons.
Talia, meanwhile, was one of the Gators’ top contributors in her four years with the program. As a senior this season, she was 4th at the SEC Championships in the 200 free and 6th in the 100 free. As a junior, she was 6th in the 200 free.
She competed in three NCAA Championship meets in four seasons at Florida. She wasn’t qualified individually for the 2020 championships, which were canceled by COVID-19, but was likely to attend as a member of the Florida relays.
In total, she has earned 12 All-America honors in her time with the Gators. That includes three First Team honors last week as part of Florida’s three free relays.
She also competed at the 2021 US Olympic Team Trials, finishing 32nd in the 200 free.
Both swimmers dropped time while at Florida.
Talia Bates‘ Time Progression:
|HS Best||Best Time at Florida|
|50 free||22.42 (2019 NCSAs)||22.01 (2022 SECs)|
|100 free||49.56 (2017 Winter Juniors – East)||47.75 (2022 Georgia Invite)|
|200 free||1:47.11 (2018 NCSAs)||1:43.21 (2021 NCAA Championships)|
|100 back||53.97 (2018 NCSAs)||52.49 (2022 SECs)|
Talia came out of high school primarily as a sprint freestyler and backstroker, but her biggest progression in college came in the 200 free, where she dropped almost four seconds by the end of her sophomore season. She wouldn’t go another best time in college, though.
2023 NCAA Championship individual finishes:
- 50 free – 42nd (22.45)
- 100 free – 38th (48.72)
- 200 free 42nd (1:46.43)
Georgia Bates‘ Time Progression:
|HS Best||Best Time at Florida|
|50 free||23.59 (2020 Florida HS Region 1)||23.26 (2022 Bulldog Last Chance)|
|100 free||51.25 (2018 Florida HS State Meet)||51.14 (2022 Bulldog Last Chance)|
|100 fly||55.28 (2020 Florida HS Region 1)||54.21 (2022 Bulldog Last Chance)|
As to whether the pair would transfer somewhere together, Talia said that she would like to, but that they are more focused on making the best decisions for themselves as individuals.
“It has definitely been a conversation and I would love to continue swimming with my sister, but when it comes down to it we’re both going to do what’s best for us!” Talia said. “If it’s together then that’s awesome but if not, totally fine too!”
Under new rules, swimmers have 60 days after NCAA Invites are announced to enter their names into the NCAA transfer portal, though graduate transfers like Talia Bates are exempted from that timeline. Entering the portal does not require a student-athlete to transfer.
Talia was a sophomore during the 2020-2021 season that was heavily-impacted by COVID-19, which means that she has received a bonus 5th season of eligibility. Her class is the penultimate one to receive that waiver.
The swimmers’ parents were both Gator athletes from 1992-1996: dad James Bates was a linebacker for the Gators and their mom Tina was a swimmer at the school.
Is anyone gonna talk about what happened to Mallory Schlicher? Elite level recruit, saw her twice at UF and then vanished. Same with Brooke Zeetel. One of the most versatile recruits. Saw her 4 times and then boom, gone.
Mallory Schlicher is not an elite level recruit (power index is 12.98 and ranked 288 in 2022 class) No idea re Zettle but that happened over a year ago!
Don’t throw dirt on someone’s career because they aren’t a “Ledecky” or a “Sims” for god’s sake.
I am not throwing dirt on her career. Just stating the facts. Things have changed in the swim world and kids are getting faster and faster. This is not a judgement on her at all but a 288 ranked recruit with a 16.52 mile does nothing for Florida and unfortunately, is no where near being fast enough for their travel team. Those are just facts.
A sub 17 min miler is elite.
1652 SCY is not elite… and, not anywhere near the level expected for a top D1 swimmer… you seem kinda close to the situation…
anyone who is on scholarship to swim at a top D1 school is an elite swimmer. Sorry that you don’t see value and potential in athletes.
swimmer Anonymous – I understand that you’re passionate about this topic, but please stick to one username in the comment section. Thanks!
Well I get what you are saying, and Eli I think saying “Elite Recruit” is a stretch. However, if I am Anthony Nesty, and I see an athlete who’s been 16:52 in the 1650 coming out of high school, I am thinking about getting her to 16:20 range over her freshman year, and pushing her pace a little faster than I think she can go. Considering her open water ability, Schlicher definitely has potential, but yes I agree saying elite level recruit is a stretch.
Honestly, that was all I was saying. I didn’t mean to cause a fight. Florida has 6 or 7 girls that go from 1548-1613. And I believe 2 girls who were on open water national team. I truly believe there is a place for everybody but distance/OW at Florida is no joke. She should go somewhere where the coach is excited about a 1620 and where she can travel.
Something deeper here is going on. You don’t have 4 girls transfer (with the possibility of more) within a single year regardless of if they were in the roster or not. Let’s not forget about Trey Freeman earlier this year. Nesty is obviously a great coach, but what about a great person? The assistant coaches seem to not be doing their part and advocating for the swimmers. Mental health seems not to be a concern.
Every statement of yours reveal you have zero knowledge of anything happening at UF
No you don’t get to say that. You obviously have no knowledge. Don’t comment, if you havnt been on that pool deck apart of that environment, experiencing what goes on first hand what goes on.
Nope Mike, Coach is pretty much spot on… assistants have no input or pull and Nesty is ill equipped to handle any athlete mental health issues. The women’s team is pretty toxic (has been for a while) and right now it’s a meat grinder for the folks who are not on the travel squad.
When I lasted checked Nesty was a D1 college coach not a psychiatrist. UF has a top notch mental health program and athletes get an unlimited amount of free mental health care. There are many, many women on the team very happy. Everyone knows UF is a team where athletes work hard. It’s not for everyone.
Being a good coach, college or otherwise is more than just writing sets and correcting strokes. If there is no empathy or understand of the psychology of motivating athletes in a mentally healthy and positive manner then the coach can become the catalyst for mental health issues. This does not mean a coach cant be tough or hold athletes accountable, it means they can’t be abusive.
Take a look at whats happening in elite sports. Its pretty easy to name coaches that have been fired, universities that have been sued and see athletes speaking out and advocating for themselves.
Times are changing and coaches needs to change and learn from the past.
So correct. There are multiple phenomenal D1 coaches out there who are stern and tough, but there is a direct line from tough love and abuse.
This is a 5th year transferring, no biggy, it’s gonna happen, as it does in all sports… And a sibling who, let’s be real, was never at Florida level. She’s going to find a much more appropriate situation for herself, where she can contribute and travel.
And if there’s 4 more, that’s not shocking- there is no way the roster can handle the incoming class without some folks making way. It is what it is. This class, on both sides, is enormous.
no other university has this many dropping all at once.
USC had I think 14-16 last year kicked off or transferred… so… thats not really true…
Nesty is a first class coach (AND person!)
USC should not be the example to use for a healthy program 14-16 is a complete anomaly. To have almost have that at 6 is a lot
Developing talent versus recruiting new talent, the old college coach dilemma. It always seems to be a debate when talking about coaches (especially college) when looking at which swimmers actually get better. Some are better at nurturing athletes and supporting their development, some are good at chewing them up and tossing them aside, some are good leaders, some live in their own worlds/egos. To be fair, most businesses like to clean house. With bonuses and jobs tied to the success of young athletes and so many young athletes out there, they are unfortunately sometimes easier to just replace. Welcome to D1 power 5. Besides the “other swimmers” leaving, there were certainly several that were on the roster and made NCAAs… Read more »
Lots of history with Isabel Ivey.
There’s a big story here. There’s a reason why the FEMALE swimmers are transferring. And it’s not someone anyone would expect. SwimSwam you need to get the story and report it—no one is above the truth.
The Bates family are UF legacy. Father played football/won a national championship/now teaches at UF. Mother was a swimmer/academic all American. Why are both sisters leaving?
Well look at their coach, he wears a Blue Lives Matter hat to literally every meet. Idk about you, but if i’m there I think I would be a bit uncomfortable.
Oh stop it, that is very irrelevant to this situation.
I thought that hat he always wears is military related. but idk
same here. it’s hard to tell. i don’t see a blue line on the flag
It is military related
two brothers at UGA are transferring too 👀
if Steve Jungbluth was still at Florida, they wouldn’t be having these transfer issues, just a thought
One is a grad student and the other wants to swim for a team where she can compete and be on travel team. Maybe Talia would stay if Steve were there but wouldn’t change the fact that Georgia wouldn’t be able to compete.
Yeah, all bravado aside, if I were going to go through all of the work to swim in college, I would want to be on the travel and conference roster.