UConn to Eliminate Men’s Swim & Dive, 3 Other Sports Following 2020-21 Year

After weeks of speculation, the University of Connecticut is officially cutting its men’s swimming and diving program along with men’s tennis and cross country, as well as women’s rowing, after the 2020-21 school year, the Hartford Courant’s Alexa Phillippou reported Wednesday during a Board of Trustees meeting. The school will also reduce the number of scholarships offered for men’s golf and track & field.

According to Phillippou, the school will honor scholarships for athletes who choose to remain at UConn and pursue a four-year degree.

UConn track and field representatives called into the meeting and one urged the board to consider the non-financial ramifications of theit program. “You could be saving someone’s life if this program is not cut,” one alum reportedly said.

The school’s athletic department reportedly must slash $10 million from its budget over the next three years due to the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, as the university will be lowering its contribution to athletics from $40 million $30 million. According to a report by the Hartford Courant, in recent years, athletics has been taking in about $40 million and spending more than $80 million annually.

On May 23, athletic director David Benedict said that eliminating sports would be a major consideration, as UConn fields 24 varsity sports, which is eight more than the minimum for Division I status. UConn will join the Big East Conference on July 1 (and had to pay $17 million to exit the AAC), and its current sport count is six more than the average per school across the conference.

UConn’s situation is similar to that of East Carolina University, which announced the cut of four programs – including swimming & diving – last month as part of an effort to close a $10 million-per-year budget deficit. ECU previously sponsored 20 sports, which made it the second-biggest program in the AAC behind UConn’s 24.

The UConn men finished fourth out of four teams at the 2020 AAC Swimming & Diving Conference Championships, while the UConn women’s team finished sixth out of six teams. The defending men’s conference champions from ECU having now been cut, which coupled with UConn’s departure, leaves just Cincinnati and SMU sponsoring men’s swimming programs in the American.

According to data collected by the College Swimming Coaches Association of America, 43 Division I sports programs have now been cut amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Sad
4 months ago

There it is 🙁

Hot Takes:
4 months ago

They could also scrap they’re horrible football team that I can assume is a giant money pit

200 SIDESTROKE B CUT
Reply to  Hot Takes:
4 months ago

I also wonder how bloated most of these athletic department “administration” offices are.

Riccardo
Reply to  200 SIDESTROKE B CUT
4 months ago

Nothing against the people that work in it, but think of all the millions wasted every year in paying people whose job is to know the NCAA rule book, a document that does nothing to help athletes.

frug
Reply to  Hot Takes:
4 months ago

The problem is, the state might not let them scrap the FB program. UConn does not actually own their own FB stadium, they have a long term lease with the state owned Pratt & Whitney Stadium. This has actually caused problems for the school in the past. When UConn hosted Michigan a few years ago both schools wanted to move the game in Foxborough which has a much higher capacity, but local business owners in East Hartford, successfully, lobbied the state to force the game to be played in East Hartford. I could see them doing something similar if UConn tried to dropp down a division or scrap the sport before the lease is up.

Admin
Reply to  frug
4 months ago

That game drew 42,000, over capacity. I feel like Michigan vs. UConn basketball would’ve sold out the stadium too. Even with that game, and a draw of almost 39,000 for the Maryland game the same year, the school only averaged 31,000 fans that season, which comes out to 27,000 per game. By the season finale, where they were thumped 45-10 by Memphis, there were only 17,000 in the stadium. So, it seems like maybe their path to financial success is to just play a schedule of juggernauts every year, go 0-12, and let the visiting team fans fill the stadium up. If they can take $10 million in “thumping fees,” double their ticket sales from around $2.5 million to around… Read more »

stoobie
Reply to  Braden Keith
4 months ago

Doesn’t work that way. Top tier teams pay for the lower level teams to come to them. It helps off-set the small school’s expenses and give the power house a cupcake to beat up in front of their fans. This practice might be going away with the pressure on Power 5 teams to have a stronger non-con schedule and to cut costs (not having to pay cupcakes anymore). While the CBS Sports contract helps, I doubt the program (as it exists now) will be able to sustain give the future of revenue generating sports and the NIL ruling. There will be a further gap between this programs with resources and those without. If you get a chance, look up how… Read more »

Admin
Reply to  stoobie
4 months ago

Nothing you said contradicts anything I said.

stoobie
Reply to  Braden Keith
4 months ago

No reason to be offended. I read your comment as UConn was paid to host Michigan. If I was mistaken I sincerely apologize.

Admin
Reply to  stoobie
4 months ago

Uconn is paid to go to Michigan, that’s 6 games), and Uconn makes money when they host Michigan (by selling out the stadium – that’s the other 6 games).

Obviously they’re not going to get 6 Michigans to come every year. But most Power 5 schools, especially any that are roughly regional, will sell out a 40,000 seat stadium. Ala Maryland or Syracuse, for example.

SwimParent
4 months ago

They have destroyed their athletic department with bad choices in football. No one wants to play at UConn. That program is a money pit the stadium is in Hartford brand new. They have robbed peter to pay paul and it caught up with them. How much money did they waste in buyouts over 10 million and leaving the aac cost them another 17 million. Every administrator in that department has to go. Oh wait they can’t because of the huge buyout clauses they were given

Brad Flood
Reply to  SwimParent
4 months ago

BINGO!

One of THE Worst managed athletic departments in all of NCAA, not just D I.

Proud to put my name on this post.

LOSERS!!!

About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majored in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swam distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

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