East Carolina University Cuts Men’s & Women’s Swimming and Diving

Photo Courtesy: East Carolina Athletics

East Carolina University announced on Thursday it would cut four athletic programs as part of the school’s budget restructuring efforts from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Both men’s and women’s swimming and diving, and men’s and women’s tennis were the sports affected by the budget cuts, affecting 68 student athletes and nine coaches across the four programs.

According to WFMY News in Greensboro, North Carolina, the university will honor all scholarships of affected student-athletes who want to continue studying at East Carolina University and will complete their degree in four years. Under NCAA transfer rules, students are immediately eligible for competition when the students’ original institution discontinues the sport in which the student practiced or competed.

“Today’s decision came after a deliberate review and in-depth analysis of the athletics department’s budgets and programs,” said Interim Chancellor Ron Mitchelson. “The current athletics budget was not sustainable pre-COVID-19 and the university was working closely with athletics to decrease the annual deficit over the next year. With the pandemic, the deficit began to grow significantly where the impact was immediate and will affect future revenue and expenses for years to come. Ultimately, the reduction of sports aligns ECU with our American Athletic Conference peers and provides a roadmap to a more sustainable future for the University and athletics. 

In swimming circles, East Carolina University qualified one swimmer each to the NCAA men’s and women’s swimming and diving championships, with freshman Kristen Stege making the women’s meet in the 1650 and senior Gustavo Santos making the men’s meet in the 100 butterfly.


  1. Carlos Lomba

    Anita Rivera Maribel Torres Soto
    Se acuerdan cuando fuimos a ECU para las pruebas de fisiología antes de los CCCAN?

    • Anita Rivera

      Carlos Lomba sii, para convencer a algunos de que en Sadce hacíamos más y mejor!

    • Kelly-Anne McDonnell

      Randi Schoener-mcdonnell So sad but they had to make some cuts or raise tuition and fees , stinks for those kids and for the school as a whole as they now lose prospective good students , such a bummer !

  2. Tracy Cameron Hepner

    So sad for this program. Hope this isnt effecting any scholarships.

    • Jennifer Stewart

      Tracy Cameron Hepner from the article:
      “the university will honor all scholarships of affected student-athletes who want to continue studying at East Carolina University and will complete their degree in four years.”

  3. Tori Trees Smith

    Very sad:( Their team is in the same conference as my daughter’s. The men won and the women finished forth. Very spirited team! I’m sorry to hear this.

  4. Brian Pearson

    The dominos will start falling I’m afraid. Uggg

  5. Stacey Preston

    Devastating! Stop cutting swim programs!

  6. Kim Anderson

    I’m sorry Ginger! Such sad times!

  7. Joel Gitlin

    Very sad, I hope this isn’t a trend?‍♂️☹️

  8. Leslie Scott

    Probably the only sport that can definitely save your life: not good

  9. Colleen Tessler

    HORRIBLE! Been to this school. They have an awesome D1 swim team.

  10. Ja Bounce

    DAMN!!! Too bad they can’t let the Team Members / Coaching Staff Fund-raise themselves to keep this going!!

  11. John McCormack

    Hey but keep spending big bucks on the major programs (big new fball coach contract last year) can’t wait to see them in the “Who Gives a Flying F…. Bowl” and playing before hundreds in the sleet and rain in Memphis or Mobile…

  12. avatar
    Dennis Connolly

    Very disappointing! Great program.

  13. W Bruce Murray

    Very sad to see. Swam against them in college many years ago

  14. avatar
    Jim Griffin

    Sad, that terrible decision

  15. Lisa Romanoff

    Wait! What? Didn’t they just sign Coleman?!

  16. Andy Gallion

    I know other money factors were involved, but there are a lot of non P5 schools that are going to lose swimming programs. And if there is no Fall football and no network money, all sports become club sports overnight.

  17. avatar

    so sad for those kids that have dedicated their whole life to swimming in hope for a scholarship. I pray it is not just the beginning 🙁

  18. Jenny Dillon Primm

    I thought about Coleman when I read this. Some other team will be lucky to get him! Hate when colleges cut swimming!