SwimSwam Podcast: Iowa Swim/Dive on Being Cut

On SwimSwam Podcast, we’re giving you an in-depth listen at all things swimming. Host Coleman Hodges welcomes guests and guest co-hosts alike to get perspective on our ever-changing swimming universe and break down the past, present, and future of aquatic sports.

We sat down with former Iowa swimmer and coach Emma Sougstad and current Iowa senior Sage Ohlensehlen to discuss Iowa cutting it’s swimming and diving programs. The duo described Iowa’s program history and what the program has done for them as individuals as well as the communities they’re involved in. Sage expressed her concern that this will not only affect the University of Iowa swimmers but the swimming community as a whole, setting a precedent for other major schools to act similarly.

Click here to see the petition to keep Iowa Swim/Dive alive.

Hawkeye Alumni are assembling in a Facebook group to save the program.

The group is titled “Iowa Swimming and Diving Alumni Unite.” You can find it here.

Music: Otis McDonald


Opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the interviewed guests do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints of the hosts, SwimSwam Partners, LLC and/or SwimSwam advertising partners.

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1 year ago

Please help IOWA Swimming and Diving…sign the petition, raise awareness…Thank you Emma and Sage and all swimmers and divers! “Fight for Iowa” and NCAA swimming and Diving…

Former Big10
Reply to  Paul
1 year ago

Paul, will these groups/donations really make a difference? It might make people feel better, by signing up and donating, but it seems like the writing is on the wall.
I’m more interested in what the university is doing to help these swimmers find new homes? What about the coaching staff?
On another note, the Iowa athletics department sure does have some bloated contracts. Maybe whoever is negotiating them, and the termination clauses (McCaffery is 10 mil? seriously?) should be let go from their services.
Also, Barta has always sucked. Seems like he had 0 empathy for the swimmers.

Last edited 1 year ago by Former Big10
Reply to  Former Big10
1 year ago

Football, BB, and wrestling is all Barta cares about. Kirk Ferentz, a mediocre football coach, has contract until 2025 paying him $4.5/year. Kirk is running a family business and his son Brian is the Offensive Coordinator, recently accused of racist remarks, together with ex-strength coach, that Kirk tolerated. Kirk fired strength coach but kept his son. Barta does what Ferentz tells him to do. There is no a shred of concerns for students and student athletes in the whole university. The University of Iowa and Iowa City was a beautiful place to be until about 2000. Then a series of career Presidents that used Iowa as a stepping stone to Ivy League, ruined everything. It did not help that an… Read more »

Reply to  Former Big10
1 year ago

Interesting comments and question you ask…It does make me feel better for asking the swimming community for help…As a former IOWA swimmer Co-Capt. (’77-’78), Assistant Coach, Alum, and “Die-hard” Hawk, WE were trained and ingrained to ‘Fight’, and never give up or give in, despite adverse conditions, distractions…WE maintain (For Life) a singleness of purpose…The best for IOWA Swimming and Diving!

Mrs. Swimming
1 year ago

Like anyone else here I’m a big advocate for collegiate swimming and really hope this program is re-instated but I’m convinced that with the current tactics and arguments being used nothing will happen. At the end of the day you’re asking for $500k annually during a rough economic period for a program that performance-wise has been at best neutral, and some would say struggling, for the past several years.

Attracting successful swimmers as a means of attracting long-term successful students and people to the school is a great argument for initiating a program, but with the long history of this program shouldn’t those successful candidates be represented by some pretty solid donation numbers by now? Hopefully just an issue of… Read more »

Reply to  Mrs. Swimming
1 year ago

You should see the alumni FB group they started. Not all, but many alumni saying they don’t think they should have to fundraise and that the money should all just be handed over by the football and basketball programs. Lots of back slaps for those comments.

Luckily, a few stepped in with a voice of reason that “ok that’s all well and good, but that’s not working so we’re doing this instead.”

Sage Ohlensehlen
1 year ago

Thank you to everyone who has shown support! I truly believe the swimming community is full of amazing, generous people who are passionate about this sport and the wellbeing of people involved. If you do post something about wanting to save Iowa, please tag me in it so I can repost it! My instagram and twitter usernames are @sage_christine and my facebook is, “Sage Christine Ohlensehlen.” If you think you know another way to get this story in the media, please feel free to email me at [email protected]. Thank you again!

About Coleman Hodges

Coleman Hodges

Coleman started his journey in the water at age 1, and although he actually has no memory of that, something must have stuck. A Missouri native, he joined the Columbia Swim Club at age 9, where he is still remembered for his stylish dragon swim trunks. After giving up on …

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