South Carolina School President Says Swimming & Diving Program Cuts Discussed

Karl Ortegon
by Karl Ortegon 65

December 17th, 2020 College, News, SEC

Originally published Dec 16, 2020, Updated December 17 with new statements from president Caslen

In a story reported by the Charlotte Observer yesterday, University of South Carolina school president Bob Caslen said a budget deficit might result in the school cutting the men’s and women’s swimming & diving programs, among other sports.

South Carolina’s athletic department is facing a $40 million-plus deficit and is expected to take on loans to get through this fiscal year. Caslen said that a trustee meeting on Tuesday included “discussions about eliminating sports,” with men’s and women’s swimming and diving mentioned, as well as men’s soccer and equestrian.

Caslen has expressed his hopes to avoid any program cuts.

“If we can preserve those teams, my desire is because of the goodness they provide our student-athletes we would like to do that. There are unintended consequences like cutting pathways to professional or Olympic sports,” Caslen said.

“I believe [not cutting is] the right thing to do. In the end, we may have to do it.”

A day after his original comments, Caslen attempted to walk back any concerns over the future of the mentioned programs.

“I want to reiterate that the goal of Athletics Director Ray Tanner and myself remains to preserve the robust athletics program we enjoy at the University of South Carolina. Student athletes set a tremendous example for our entire university community and the administration is working hard to ensure each of our teams is supported, even as we face serious challenges. Our student-athletes and fans deserve nothing less. There are no plans to cut any sports programs at Carolina.”

If South Carolina ends up cutting the swimming & diving programs, they’d join a growing number of schools that have eliminated sports to make up for revenue losses at the hands of the COVID-19 pandemic. So far, other Division I programs to cut swimming & diving include Iowa (men and women), Michigan State (men and women), Boise State (women), UConn (men), Dartmouth (men and women), East Carolina (men and women), Western Illinois (men and women)

The Gamecock athletic department would also be the third DI institution in the state of South Carolina to axe swimming & diving programs in the last decade after Clemson cut their swimming and men’s diving teams after the 2010-11 season and the College of Charleston cut their programs in 2015. Clemson made it final by eliminating women’s diving after the 2016-17 season.

Last season, South Carolina’s women finished ninth out of 12 teams and their men were last at the 2020 SEC Championships. They weren’t without bright spots, though, as Itay Goldfaden won the 100 breast conference title and the Gamecock women had several A-finalists at the meet.

Leave a Reply

Notify of
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 month ago

Well the South Carolina president can suck a fat gamecock

Reply to  Bruh
1 month ago

I love the swimswam comment section

1 month ago

Why put it in the paper if the decision hasn’t been made.

Been there
Reply to  Crimson
1 month ago

To try to encourage donors to mobilize and donate to save the teams. Many of the teams that were cut would have benefited from a heads up like this.

Reply to  Been there
1 month ago

If the program could be saved through donations, the president could make that announcement. Putting it out there that they’ve discussed cutting the program like this just hangs a sword of doubt over the coaches, athletes, and recruits.

Doesn’t seem like that many ADs have actually been swayed by fundraising efforts.

Reply to  Been there
1 month ago

Nobody should donate a dollar until it’s said that donating will help the program

Reply to  Crimson
1 month ago

Or to soften the blow when the cuts do happen

1 month ago

Yes of course, says the school that is paying football Coach Will Muschamp 11-15 million to walk away from being the football coach. This needs to be vocalized. As much as football pays for the other school sports to pay someone to not do a job is a waste of funding and then to cut other programs is a slap in the face.

Reply to  Brian
1 month ago

At most of the big time football schools, boosters and donors pay buyouts, not schools. Auburn boosters paid Malzahn’s buyout, and Texas boosters were ready to do the say for Herman.

Last edited 1 month ago by Coach
Samuli Hirsi
Reply to  Coach
1 month ago

what I understand school is on the hook on this, Auburn one is boosters collected 10 mil, they can write off in taxes so easy to gather the money

Reply to  Samuli Hirsi
1 month ago

Our tax code needs a serious rethink when we’re subsidizing college football coach buyouts.

T Hill
Reply to  Brian
1 month ago

Do college football pay for other sports (yes as some schools) but what is the income vs. the real expense to operate the total program ? What is the # of walk-ons in football compared to all the other teams

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Brian
1 month ago

On the other hand, Muschamp sucks so bad, I’d throw in an extra $10 to his exit package.

Coach Macgyver
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
1 month ago

Sucks so bad he should come with attachments.

Reply to  Coach Macgyver
1 month ago

This response is under appreciated.

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

Read More »