Two Alabama Swimmers Collide in Pool; 1 Flown to Hospital

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 44

February 02nd, 2018 College, News, SEC

Local CBS affiliate WRBL in Auburn, Alabama is reporting that two members collided in the pool on Thursday at Auburn’s James E. Martin Aquatic Center. The team had arrived and was preparing for this weekend’s Auburn Invitational, which is due to be Alabama’s last meet of the regular season before travelling to College Station, Texas for the SEC Championship starting on February 14th.

The identities of the swimmers have not been released, but both were injured when one swimmer dove in and hit the other. One was treated locally in Auburn, while the other was flown to Columbus, Georgia. Both swimmers were male, and according to local reporter Marlena Mumma, “their injuries are not serious.”

In a statement, an Alabama spokesperson said “two members of the men’s team practicing in Auburn ahead of this weekend’s Auburn Invitational collided. They have been treated for their injuries.” The spokesperson also said that it’s unknown at this point whether either swimmer will compete this weekend.

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How do “not serious” and “flown to Columbus, Georgia” (out of state) go together?


Maybe the swimmer in question had other medical issues and needed care in Georgia?


I bet that his family’s medical insurance insisted that the swimmer be treated in-network, and that coverage for medical care on-site was denied. Hence the flight out of state.

Steve Nolan

Please tell me that’s not a real thing.

People flying to a different state to treat non-serious injuries b/c of insurance is just example number eight billion why I hate the US healthcare system.

Hope they are ok

Columbus, Georgia is only 45 minutes from Auburn, Alabama. They are just across the state line from each other. It’s still an airlift so not trying to minimize but it’s a little different than flying to Atlanta.


From what I understand, most top tier D1 athletic departments pay for what isn’t covered by personal insurance, so this might not have been the reason.


Go to Cuba then Steve. Or Canada. Apparently its much better there. I’ll stick with the U.S.


Oh, it seems very likely to be real. Mr. B’s insurance carrier kicked off January 2018 by blanket denial of most of the insureds’ and dependents’ prescription-drug coverage, without any advance warning. Not even a form letter! Everyone currently affected (including me and most of his co-workers) found out when our pharmacists told each of us that we couldn’t get our meds without “prior authorization.” Then after making dozens of telephone calls seeking this elusive and complicated “prior authorization,” we had/have to wait up to several weeks to get scripts that many of us were already out of. I hope nobody dies because of this, but I’ll be surprised if no one is seriously affected, on top of the stress… Read more »


Columbus is the closest hospital. If people are ever airlifted in the Auburn they go to Columbus. This isn’t unusual


Thank you for an actually correct response!

Flights aren\'t cheap

My daughter was in a serious accident and was flown fifty miles to the nearest hospital for $21,000! Which works out to $420 per mile! While I’m thankful she received such good care, I had to pay 20% of the flight, or $4200. Good thing the helicopter was in our network. I hope that cost is considered by the insurance companies when determining if a flight is truly needed. P.S. I now feel her flight wasn’t necessary but hindsight is always 20/20

Im gonna catch tomorrow now

Insurance does not reimburse a lot for flights generally–cheaper for them to go out of network probably. I live in a fairly remote place where one of the main “operations” carried out by the hospital is medevac’ing patients to a bigger better hospital. Typically this is met with a ~$50k bill that usually gets settled for $5-10k by the patient.

This was probably done as a precautionary measure if their injuries are “not serious” but someone will be calling someone else and asking for a ton of $


The school’s insurance should cover the injury.

Swimmer Life

Because generally in the press, not serious means they will not die or lose limbs.

Steve Nolan

Flown to Georgia for non serious injuries?

Hope they’re both ok tho!


I have heard that the one treated locally is already back and fine but is out for the meet… the other were not sure yet. Mostly precautionary because he was complaining about neck and back pain. Hopefully they are both fine!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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