Sources: SEC Proposes Swim/Dive Roster Limits for Men (22), Women (35) After House Settlement

by Riley Overend 148

May 27th, 2024 College, Industry, News, SEC

The SEC discussed potential roster limits for men’s and women’s swimming and diving with coaches on a recent call ahead of spring meetings this week in Destin, Florida, sources tell SwimSwam.

Part of last week’s proposed House v. NCAA settlement, which would send billions in NIL backpay to college athletes while paving the way for schools to share revenue with them, eliminated scholarship caps in favor of roster limits.

Current NCAA rules limit women’s swimming and diving teams to 14 scholarships and men’s programs to 9.9, but there’s no cap on overall roster size. According to sources, the SEC proposed a roster limit of 35 for women and 22 for men.

The proposed limits would appear to impact men’s rosters more than women’s. The average women’s roster last year was about 33 swimmers, with South Carolina boasting the most at 46. Meanwhile, the average men’s roster was about 26 swimmers, with Florida totaling the most at 41.

The roster limit for the SEC Championships is currently 22, while 18 are allowed at the NCAA Championships.

The settlement is not yet final as U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken still needs to approve the terms. College athletes dating back to 2016 are in line to receive almost $2.8 billion in back damages for lost opportunities from the NCAA’s past restrictions on name, image, and likeness (NIL). The more consequential component of the deal is a revenue-sharing model that would allow schools to share up to $22 million annually with athletes — essentially a salary cap — likely starting in the fall of 2025.

Although the settlement is finalized for now, there will likely be moving pieces in the coming months. One of the lead plaintiff attorneys, Jeffrey Kesslersaid the courts will decide “the degree in which Title IX applies” to the settlement. Former Arizona State swimmer Grant House first brought the class-action lawsuit against the NCAA back in 2020 before college athletes were granted publicity rights.


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17 days ago

How does this affect Ivies and others who do not offer “athletic scholarships”?
I assume they need to pay the athletes too.

Gowdy Raines
17 days ago

Don’t forget about the impact this may have on international swimmers. They are currently barred from receiving NIL under their VISA rules. How will pay impact them one way or another and the roster spots that may or may not be available?

Title 9 sucks
18 days ago

Why is the women’s cap so high? Title 9 is just unfair.

18 days ago

Brad DeBorde was a walk-on who was a state champion in the 200 free. He became one of the first Americans to swim an 18 in the 50. Brett Fraser followed his brother Shaune to UF and didn’t even make the conference team his freshman year. He graduated as an NCAA Champion in the 200y free. Conor Dwyer had never even qualified for NCAAs when he transferred from Iowa. Within a year at UF, he was NCAA Swimmer of the Year, and within two years, an Olympic gold medalist. Each of these guys left an indelible mark on the program and yet none of them would have likely been fast enough to make a 22-person roster. UF has traditionally attracted… Read more »

18 days ago

If those numbers hold, it really sucks for swimmers who are like I was. I was a long shot walk-on who just wanted to represent the school who grew up cheering for. Got a shot due to intangibles & grades & have always been thankful for that. Hopefully coaches fight to keep some walk on slots and provide opportunities.

Last edited 18 days ago by Jds
18 days ago

Would this just be for D1 schools?

Reply to  Noah
18 days ago

Right now it’s just a conversation happening in the SEC as far as we know. In this new world order, the SEC will make a lot of rules that will spread elsewhere, but at a minimum the Power 4 conferences are all facing down the barrel of the same gun. Roster sizes has been an early focus for a lot of conversations for the problem solvers who have to figure it out.

USports Fan
18 days ago

Canadian University swimming has a good amount of international talent, attracts solid American swimmers, and definitely won’t be cut. Plus diving doesn’t conflict. These kids swim for the love of the sport and winning for their University – not the $$. Without knowing a lot about the overall Canadian system/U Sports (other than it needs a lot of development and the Centres need new life), this could be a good avenue for kids who are not absolute superstars. My kid swam and loved it – felt very challenged at USports Championships (swam against Canadian olympians, and had a fantastic university swimming experience. Not to mention a fabulous academic experience. I’m an American, so I’m only commenting on that side of… Read more »

Reply to  USports Fan
18 days ago

This would be amazing if Swim Canada saw value and invested in USports!

18 days ago

Grant House, what a bum. Hope he gets booed at Indy. Obviously other people contributed, but putting your name on a suit is just begging for the negative attention. Took his 8 years of swimming and tore down the sport after. Enjoy all the money you make.

Reply to  Zeph
17 days ago

ASU just released their Olympic trials team and he wasn’t on it.

 Help us send our student-athletes to Indianapolis! 


Sun Devil Swim & Dive Family – 

As many of you know, the 2024 summer Olympics are right around the corner and we currently have 16 student-athletes who have qualified to compete in the Olympic Trials. There is still one more week to qualify, so we might have 1-2 more, but at this time the following individuals will be representing Sun Devil Swim & Dive at the Olympic Trials:

Lindsay Looney
Erin Milligan
Iza Adame
Alex Colson
Andy Dobrzanski
Jack Dolan
Julian Hill
… Read more »

Reply to  SwimMom
17 days ago

I think this list only includes active members of the varsity…

Reply to  Braden Keith
16 days ago

Grant has been listed as unattached since April

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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