The University of North Florida has cut their women’s swimming program, according to a press release on their website. In the release, the Athletics Department cited financial restraints, and facilities, but there was also a bit of a mitigating circumstance that North Florida’s conference, the Atlantic-Sun conference, doesn’t sponsor a championship in women’s swimming. As a result, the UNF swim team was a member of the Coastal Collegiate Swim Conference with other orphaned teams.
Basically, the Athletic Department needed to save money, and cutting the swim team allowed them to do so without hurting their standing within their conference.
The real shame here is that the swim team is coming off of one of it’s most runs ever. Last season, admist the LZR suit contreversy, the Ospreys broke 12 school records. This year, they proved that it was the swimmers and not the suits by breaking 10 more without them. Their coach, Beth Harrell was named co-conference Coach of the Year, and the squad was named a CSCAA All-Scholar squad for their pursuits in the classroom.
This season, has been a year of ups and downs for the sport of college swimming, including the well-publicized loss of programs like Duquesne and CSU-Northridge, and others that were brought back from the brink, like Pepperdine.