Western Kentucky University has eliminated all funding for its swimming & diving programs, a local newspaper reports, leaving the program unlikely to return from what was originally framed as a five-year suspension.
The Bowling Green Daily News reports that WKU cut $1.14 million from its budget in recent months, and that the 2018-2019 budget approved last week included the elimination of all funds for the swimming & diving program.
Western Kentucky suspended its swim & dive programs in 2015, terminating all of its coaches in the process. That came after a Title IX investigation revealed evidence of hazing and sexual harassment within the program that included underage team members pressured to drink alcohol. That suspension was intended to last five years, or until the spring of 2020. The scandal also led to a lawsuit by a former swimmer, which was eventually settled out of court.
The five-year suspension was seen by some (our opinion section included) as the precursor to a full program cut, though as of last fall, the school only said it would “evaluate the return of the swimming and diving program closer to the expiration of the five-year suspension.”
Now, the Daily News report suggests that “barring a significant influx of outside money,” the WKU swimming & diving program won’t return from its suspension. The Daily News reports that money previously used to fund the swim & dive program had been redirected during the suspension “toward cost of attendance.” The team’s budget was $995,421 for the 2014-2015 season, the newspaper reports.
Maybe we’ll all learn a lesson here? Debauchery does not come without a price!
There is a list of good college swimming programs that have good numbers (GPA and grad rate), competitive in their conferences and even have a strong fan following who have been killed off by their administrations. What they don’t have is revenues to fund their program.
Football isn’t a money maker most of the time but it is like a sports cockroach; impossible to kill off so other sports are sacrificed for it. Football net revenues fully fund all sports in only 23 – 24 D1 schools. About 80% of football programs lose money so chances are good that football isn’t funding most of the swimming and diving programs in US colleges at all. Also, many of the college… Read more »
If anyone thinks this was about anything other than MONEY you are delusional. WKU cut its men’s tennis team the year before this and cut its track budget the year after. We are so wrapped into the swimming community we don’t look further into the budget issues the school has been having.
Disappointing, but entirely predictable. “5-year suspension” might as well be called “termination”. They’re never going to put the money BACK into swimming to bring it back. But the termination goes over easier when there’s no current team to complain.
It’s a shame but if college swimming doesn’t make financial sense, it will continue to disappear. Mistakes like this just make it that much easier for the school to go ahead and save the million dollars.
Correct you are Patrick. NCAA swimming as we know it is living on borrowed time. POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS – 1. Limit roster sizes to 16 women and 12 men. 2. Combine all conference and NCAA meets 3. Require teams to participate in car washes for donations as fund raisers at all home Football, Basketball,Softball, Soccer, Hockey, Equestrian, Gymnastics and Baseball Games games 4. Radically reform dual meet formats 5. Only allow teams to travel to competitions within 25 miles of campus via biking or walking 6. If any underage athlete drinks, hazes, engages in pre-marital sex or tells a fib – kick em off the team and they never can compete at any institution. 7. Pay Head Coaches minimum wage with… Read more »
I went from YES to WTF at least 6 times while I read this post. Well done!
In 2008 Hilltopper FOOTBALL lost over 6 million dollars. But you’re right, swimming is the financial problem.
When will kids and coaches learn? You can’t give schools any reason to think about appropriating your funds somewhere else.
Coaches- do your due diligence. You are responsible for the kids you recruit and have on your team.
Swimmers- grow up. Your choices are impacting the future of NCAA swimming
This is all true. But, Baylor isn’t going to cut their football team.
Unfortunately no… they can clean house and start over because football makes money
$$$ drives the decision making and thought process.
Football outside or the power 5 is generally a money loser. “By the NCAA’s benchmark for self-sufficiency, just 24 of 230 public schools in Division I stand on their own, up from 20 a year earlier, according to an analysis of the 2013-14 school year by USA TODAY Sports, based on data gathered in conjunction with Indiana University’s National Sports Journalism Center”
Baylor is a power 5 school
This wasn’t geared towards Baylor. I was responding to the blanket assertion that “Football makes Money”. This statement is true only 10% of the time. But now that you mention Baylor, it appears they also lose money. What I am trying to convey is that the world of non-revenue college sports always concede to football by saying “well football makes money” and swimming doesn’t so I understand why swimming gets cut. In reality, BOTH lose money but football loses way more (outside of the 10% of teams that are in the black.)
I think the generalization is that all college football teams make money. And that is far from true. AD’s (and this country in general) have ragin’ hardons for football. Fortunately, that sport will die as this concussion thing continues to escalate.
If Universities are truly serious about keeping athletics across the board, all sports (including football, even though its dumb), they really need to bail on the NCAA.
Baylor has a swim team at risk?
It’s a sad commentary, but Baylor players could be holding Satanic bonfires (yes, even on that Baptist campus) on a weekly basis, throwing kittens, bunnies, and baby chicks on the flames, videotaping recruits and freshman doing keg stands, blatantly plagiarizing papers, using test-takers, and continuing their morally disgusting and horrific pattern of sexual assault, and football would remain. The athletic department would even clean house of the coaching staff and then hire a new staff and pay them even more MORE, but they’d never drop football.
Certainly, the WKU swimmer conduct was discovered and rumored to be terrible, and they deserved the sanctions, but let’s be honest: no athletic department is going to spend money on swimming that they need… Read more »
Maaaaaannnnnnnnnn Title IX is stupid imma snitch on every single collegiate team for sending memes to each other and all the underage drinking that happens
From what I heard (second and third hand, granted) what was going on there was much worse than that.
And that program has had their issues before IIRC.
Not sure how this is Title IX related when both men’s and women’s swimming and diving were eliminated.
It does say in the article “after a Title IX investigation” so…..
Yes, sexual harassment, forced underage binge drinking and racial slurs fall under the broad but harmless category of “memes”