Sources: Michigan State To Eliminate Women’s & Men’s Swimming & Diving Programs

Michigan State will eliminate its women’s and men’s swimming & diving programs, sources say. MSU would be the latest in a long line of college cuts this year.

Update: Michigan State has confirmed the news in a press release. The school will discontinue women’s and men’s swimming & diving after the 2020-2021 season.

MSU cited a financial crisis, with the school’s best-case scenario projecting a revenue shortfall of more than $30 million this season. The press release emphasized that the cut won’t save money during the pandemic this year, but will help balance the budget in future years.

The Michigan State Spartans were 12th among 14 women’s programs and 10th among 10 men’s programs at last year’s Big Ten Championships. Neither program has had an individual All-American since 2002, when Carly Weiden earned that honor and won a Big Ten title in diving.

But while the program hasn’t been a top contender recently, it’s also a fairly historic NCAA program – the Spartans are one of just 24 schools to ever win an NCAA men’s relay title. MSU also hosted two NCAA Championship meets: one in 1967 at the McCaffree Pool and another in 1941 at the old Jenison Pool.

Michigan State NCAA relay champions:

  • 1946 – men’s 400 free relay
  • 1948 – men’s 400 free relay
  • 1951 – men’s 400 free relay
  • 1957 – men’s 400 medley relay
  • 1962 – men’s 400 free relay

Michigan State NCAA individual champions, per the team’s archives:

  • Clarke Scholes
    • 1950 – 100 free
    • 1951 – 50 free, 100 free
    • 1952 – 100 free
  • Donald Patterson
    • 1958 – 100 free
  • Ken Walsh
    • 1967 – 100 free
  • William Steuart
    • 1958 – 440 free, 1500 free
    • 1959 – 440 free, 1500 free
  • George Hoogerhyde
    • 1947 – 1500 free
  • Gary Dilley
    • 1965 – 100 back, 200 back
    • 1966 – 100 back, 200 back
  • Frank Modine
    • 1958 – 100 breast, 200 breast
  • Linda Gustavson
    • 1970 – 50 free
  • Marilyn Corson
    • 1970 – 200 IM
    • 1972 – 200 IM
  • Jane Manchester
    • 1973 – 3m diving
    • 1974 – 1m diving, 3m diving
  • Julie Farrell
    • 1990 – 1m diving
    • 1991 – 3m diving

Michigan State is now the 5th school among the 24 schools to ever win a men’s relay title that has since cut their men’s swimming & diving program. Iowa, which won a 1936 relay title, will eliminate their program at the end of this season. UCLA, Texas – Arlington, and Rutgers no longer have men’s programs.

The cuts to Iowa and Michigan State drop the Big Ten to just 8 men’s programs and 12 women’s programs.

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Richard Jones
1 year ago

Absolutely disgusting!! I swam and played water polo in college. My brother swam for Michigan State, and my mother was the Coach of Michigan States Women’s Swimming Team. MSU has a long standing history of contributions to the world of Collegiate Swimming. Now in order to continue the outrageous spending on sports like Men’s Football, Basket Ball and other lesser Men’s sports MSU’s President and their Athletic Director have decided to eliminate Teams that generally speaking cost next to nothing to maintain. This is due in no small part to the disasters that have been a part of MSU’s Total Mismanagement of its sports programs. My father who was also a member of the MSU Varsity Baseball Team, and a… Read more »

3 years ago

At least Illinois will not have to battle MSU for last place in the B1G, now they can set their sights on Rutgers.

3 years ago

Rumor is going around that ASU is next.

Reply to  Swim
3 years ago

I don’t think ASU is next, but I believe it’s coming. Bowman doesn’t care about college swimming, or the sport as a whole, and is using ASU right now to coach his pros through the Olympics and then I believe he retires or moves on to the next payday somewhere else. After that, I see the university dropping the program after they realize they got sold down the river by Bowman.

Reply to  Guerra
3 years ago

You do not believe it’s coming, you just don’t like Bob Bowman.

Reply to  Braden Keith
3 years ago

I hope it’s not true, but I do believe. I just don’t understand why people think what he’s doing is good for college swimming.

Last edited 3 years ago by Guerra
Reply to  Braden Keith
3 years ago

I hope ASU holds. Arizona swimming only has limited options for in-state if ASU goes.

Reply to  Braden Keith
3 years ago

It’s amazing how Swimswam commenters actually know each other, it’s like a family.

Time For Barta To Go
3 years ago

Michigan State has been ready to drop swimming and diving for years. The pandemic was just an unexpected, handy excuse to drop the hammer. Substandard funding, substandard facility – through no fault of the coaches and athletes. They work hard – as do all programs. But that AD/school barely recognizes they even have a swimming and diving team, much less direct resources their way.

At least Iowa built a great facility and provided resources before they “cancelled the unworthy” – Michigan State “cancelled the unworthy” simply because they remembered them.

Another state-funded, public university in action again, folks. Shameful

Reply to  Time For Barta To Go
3 years ago

I dunno … in a weird sort of way, I have more respect for MSU’s decision compared to Iowa’s based on what you just said. Strangely, MSU’s rationale at least seems more honest – basically, they’re saying, there’s no real appetite or desire to invest in new facilities for swim/dive and without those facilities, we really can’t compete effectively in the B1G.

3 years ago

Not surprised but sad at their decision.

3 years ago

Well, they never did update that indoor pool & natatorium.

3 years ago

“These are not scenarios created by a national pandemic, but rather an understanding that there is not a reasonable expectation of a better situation in the future. Unfortunately, this all led us to our inevitable decision.”
Quoting from the press release 🙁

So sad about all of the programs that were cut. It’s sad to see a once amazing program fade and eventually end like this. I hope the program’s student-athletes will find a new home to continue their careers. So many things have brought financial challenges, it’s sad thinking about who could be next

Last edited 3 years ago by swimfan210_
3 years ago

This just reinforces my opinion of what Bob Bowman is doing to the swimming program at Arizona State by not having a team this year is terrible.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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