The Week That Was: Iowa Cuts Swimming & Diving; NCAA Approves Extra Year of Eligibility For Division I Fall Sports

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

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The Week That Was sponsored by Suitmate.

The University of Iowa made the startling decision to cut its swimming and diving programs this week in the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic that continues to ravish the United States. Swimming World has since called for the 2021 Men’s NCAA swimming and diving championships to be moved from Iowa City to a location where swimming & diving will be supported.

The NCAA has approved an extra year of eligibility for Division I athletes in fall sports that have had their seasons affected by COVID-19 out of their control.

Read below the five biggest stories in The Week That Was sponsored by Suitmate.

The Week That Was #5: Anthony Nesty Named Member of SEC Council on Racial Equality & Social Justice

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Photo Courtesy: Tim Casey

By Andy Ross

The University of Florida’s men’s men’s swimming and diving head coach Anthony Nesty and men’s tennis head coach Bryan Shelton and were named their respective sports’ representatives on the newly formed Southeastern Conference Council on Racial Equity and Social Justice.

Created in July 2020, the council is comprised of administrators, student-athletes and coaches across all 14 SEC institutions, and will focus on providing guidance through pinpointing resources, strategies and implementation efforts to the promotion of racial equity and social justice.

SEC student-athletes will participate utilizing existing conference football, men’s and women’s basketball and student-athlete advisory councils (SAAC) to minimize time demands while maximizing student-athlete input. Additionally, racial equity and social justice will be standing agenda items during all leadership and advisory council meetings. Councilors from other panels will participate to share information and learn what questions and concerns exist for student-athletes.

#4: Cali Condors Add Beata Nelson, Erika Brown & Coleman Stewart to Team, Among Others

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

By Matthew De George

Three swimmers – Coleman Stewart, Erika Brown, Beata Nelson and Veronica Burchill – announced they are joining the Cali Condors for the 2020 International Swimming League season.

All three swimmers, whose college eligibility ended in the spring, made their announcements via Instagram.

The Week That Was #3: Claire Tuggle Verbally Commits to Virginia For 2022

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Photo Courtesy: @clairetuggle

By Andy Ross

The Virginia Cavaliers continued to crush the recruiting game on the women’s side with a recent 2022 commitment from Claire Tuggle.

She swims for the Santa Maria Swim Club in California and has a gold medal from the 2019 World Juniors in the 4×200 freestyle relay. Tuggle is one of the best recruits in the class of 2022 as she is primarily a middle distance freestyler but can also branch out to the 100 freestyle and 400 IM.

Claire Tuggle made the A-Finals in the 200 & 400 freestyle at the 2019 US Nationals as she finished sixth in the 200 free and fourth in the 400 freestyle. She also reached the C-Final in the 200 IM where she placed 23rd overall. At the 2019 Juniors a week later, she won the 800 freestyle.

At the international level, she finished sixth in the 200 freestyle (1:59.83) and seventh in the 400 freestyle (4:12.39) at the 2019 World Juniors in Budapest as well as anchoring the gold medal winning 4×200 free relay with a 1:58.39.

#2: NCAA Grants Extra Year of Eligibility to Fall Sport Athletes

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

By Dan D’Addona

The Division I Board of Directors voted to officially grant an extra year of eligibility to fall athletes with the seasons being pushed to the spring or possibly canceled by conferences around the country.

The move does not affect swimming and diving, which is a winter sport, but sets the precedent if winter seasons are altered.

Division I will also work toward hosting scaled back fall championships in the spring.

The board met by videoconference Friday and adopted the Division I Council recommendation regarding fall championships.

The Week That Was #1: University of Iowa to Cut Swimming & Diving After 2021 Season

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Photo Courtesy: Connor Trimble

By Andy Ross

The University of Iowa will be cutting its swimming and diving programs – both men and women, after the conclusion of the 2020 – 21 season due to the ongoing financial struggles caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This would be the first school in the power five Division I conferences to cut its swim team since the COVID-19 pandemic began as East CarolinaConnecticutBoise State and Dartmouth out of the mid-majors made similar announcements.

The announcement was made by University of Iowa President Bruce Harreld and Athletic Director Gary Barta as men’s gymnastics and men’s tennis were also cut.

In an open letter, Harreld and Barta make the following statement:

“The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a financial exigency which threatens our continued ability to adequately support 24 intercollegiate athletics programs at the desired championship level. With the Big Ten Conference’s postponement of fall competition on August 11, UI Athletics now projects lost revenue of approximately $100M and an overall deficit between $60-75M this fiscal year. A loss of this magnitude will take years to overcome. We have a plan to recover, but the journey will be challenging.”

The University of Iowa men finished sixth at the 2020 Big Ten Swimming & Diving Championships out of ten teams as the Hawkeyes become the first men’s swim team cut in the Big Ten since Illinois finished competing after the 1993 season.

Iowa’s women’s team was ninth at Big Ten’s this year out of 13 teams as no women’s team in the Big Ten, besides the University of Maryland, has cut women’s swimming, making this decision a truly historical one.


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1 comment

  1. avatar
    Paul Eaton

    Please “Fight for IOWA”…sign the petition…I was there in ’65 for HOF ceremonies…I was a “Mudskipper” at Pine Crest…housed Don Schollander, Murray Rose, Louis Nicholao, Bob Hoag and others at dedication in Lauderdale…saw Spitz in ’72 tear up the West Point pool at NCAA’s…CO-Capt of ’78 Hawkeyes…reader of Swimming World since ’66…Please help my Hawkeyes…

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