University of Connecticut to Officially Cut Men’s Swimming and Diving (UPDATE)

Photo Courtesy: UConn Athletics

UPDATE: The University of Connecticut will officially cut men’s swimming, along with three other sports, after the 2020-21 school year as part of an overall plan to cut four athletic programs from the school.

The university is trying to erase a $10 million deficit brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. The athletic program was bringing in $40 million in revenue, and spending more than $80 million. The university had been receiving $40 million in university subsidy and athletic director Dave Benedict was asked to cut $10 million from the subsidy.

According to the Hartford Courant, the school had proposed to cut four athletic programs, which became public Wednesday during a Board of Trustees meeting in which it was made clear the athletic department’s budget is unsustainable, especially as the school faces a significant shortfall following the virus.

Athletes whose programs are cut will be able to stay on scholarship for a full year, with the cuts taking affect after next academic year. The other three sports that have been proposed to get cut include women’s rowing, men’s cross country, and men’s tennis. The schools will also offer fewer scholarships for men’s golf and men’s track and field, as well as reducing operating expenses by 15%. 124 student athletes will be affected by the cuts.

The University of Connecticut, with Chris Maiello as the head of the men’s and women’s programs, had one swimmer qualify for the NCAA Championships in 2020 – senior William Kearsey, who qualified in the 100 backstroke (45.93). When UConn cuts men’s swimming, that would leave just two schools in the American Athletic Conference with men’s swimming – Cincinnati and Southern Methodist. East Carolina, another member of the AAC, cut men’s and women’s swimming after this season. Cincinnati and SMU would likely have to become affiliate members of another conference to have a championship meet.

According to the Hartford Courant, it costs roughly $700,000 to operate men’s swimming at the University of Connecticut.

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80 comments

  1. Ja Bounce

    Booooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!! Soooooo Admin will move funds to the Football team now?!? THAT’s CRAP!!

  2. Ashli Christen

    This will just be the beginning if we have no football or basketball, the sports that fund the minor sports.

  3. Lisa O

    Annoying. The team raised pledges of $750,000 and still are being cut.

    • Maria Grannell

      Lisa O’Keefe That’s really sad, and eerily reminiscent of what happened to the other Huskies, at University of Washington. I’m sure the football team there is happy with the larger, more convenient workout facility where the pool used to be.😠

  4. Erik Lebsack

    Which a holes clicked like on this? College kids losing scholarships…yay! What in the world

  5. avatar
    RH

    They have a losing independent football team that is irrelevant and sucks up tons of money. Additionally why do schools cut a program that costs 700k a year when they could fund raise, ask alumni from program to contribute, get corporate dollars, etc before dropping the axe? Their coach is making a couple of million a year to go 3-8

  6. Jonathan Ballard

    This is going in the wrong direction! We need more support for collegiate swimming programs!

  7. Keith Brown

    College swimming needs to become more marketable. Go to the average mid-major school and the stands are pretty empty. Make those meets an event people want to go to. Liven them up, music, lights, make it an experience. If the stands are full, the school will be more hesitant to cut the program. Of the 4 sports they cancelled, 3 are men’s programs. Why? Because football takes up a disproportionate amount of scholarships. Unless this trend stops, men’s swimming in the US will falter. Who is going to do a sport with no collegiate future?

    • Keith Brown

      Deb Lauterstein Ehret this lends to why the WHAT Northeast Showcase has become so popular. It’s rocking! Music going, big awards, lots of excitement and fun.

    • Jenn Cheri

      Keith Brown and football generates a disproportionate amount of $$$ for the school.

    • Keith Brown

      Jenn Cheri depends on the school. Sure the Power 5 conferences and their swim programs are pretty well set (Clemson?). But it’s the mid-majors that are suffering. UCONN’s football program is hemorrhaging money and it has affected other sports.

    • Susan Marburger Shannon

      Jenn Cheri that is actually not true. Other than the big conferences such as Big 10, Pac 12 etc, the football programs typically LOSE money and they tend to lose more money than the other sports! The colleges that have fb teams that don’t lose money generally do not put any money into other sports- it pretty much all goes back into their own program. Why don’t fb programs get cut? Because generally the football program’s record is tied to the athletic director’s salary, resume and bonuses. Fb is so popular in our country that ADs use it and rely on it for their own upward mobility. Colleges don’t hire ADs based on their previous school’s swimming/cross country/lax record- it’s all about fb even if their team has a lousy W/L record. Check out this website to look up the budgets for each sport in each college. It was eye opening to me.

      https://ope.ed.gov/athletics/

    • Micheal Jason Babich

      Keith Brown FYI everyone other country in the world swims to swimnot for a collegiate future. We have swimming clubs that train our swimmers all the way through from junior to the national team level. If colleges cut programs it just means the clubs will have more senior swimmers.

    • Keith Brown

      Micheal Jason Babich there are a lot of foreign swimmers swimming for US colleges

  8. Stacy Lawton Laferriere

    So sad .its a great life sport and my children have been swimming since they were 5 .. need more marketing for this awesome sport

  9. Susan L. Lansbury

    Very very sad. It’s always swimming. It sucks. My best college memories were from swimming🏊🏻‍♀️🏊🏻‍♀️🏊🏻‍♀️

    • Tim Lecrone

      Christopher McInnis holy shit. I’m in shock. This was always such a strong program. I am totally at a loss…

    • Tim Lecrone

      Christopher McInnis hah! Gotta get the youngest out of school first, but when I do, you game?

  10. Debra Zimmer

    My kids are gymnasts. And those programs are getting cut too.

  11. John Eife

    College meets are too long which make it tough to create attendance and crowd excitement. Make them more like HS dual meets and watch the crowds grow.

    • Lisa Greenberg

      John Eife They are only long when it’s guys and women together. And it’s college! Never too long.

    • Lisa Greenberg

      John Eife Then don’t go. I have watched 4 kids through college and love it each time I go.

    • John Eife

      Lisa Greenberg I don’t. I swam 4 years in college and coached one. The issue raised was people aren’t going to the meets. I know that to be true. My suggestion is make them shorter. That is all

    • Lisa Greenberg

      John Eife That’s not the real reason. When in college, most are not local . Mine is In California and depending where they are swimming I may not go. But always go to championship meets. That’s common.
      They aren’t going to meets because f the length of the meet. Parents would love to watch their college swimmer if they could.
      Swimming is and always will be a non revenue sport. Just depends how the school markets it and the Alumni base.

    • John Eife

      Lisa Greenberg I’m talking about attracting the student body, not the parents.

    • Lisa Greenberg

      John Eife Never seen a problem with my 4 kids in college with student body. All the school s also had an Alumni meet and a student meet where they gave free tshirts . You have to get the events in ,so can’t make it shorter

  12. avatar
    Kurt W

    UCONN paid the ACC a 17 million dollar exit fee just last year. WTF!?

  13. avatar
    Kurt W

    Sorry, the AAC was paid the exit fee. Not ACC.

  14. Ken Holland

    And yet the expense… the pool remains and wait for it… the athletic dept GPA just dropped 1.5 pts….

    • Joanne Newton

      Michele Snyder-Willis unfortunately, they don’t bring in $$$…☹️

    • Joanne Newton

      Michele Snyder-Willis unfortunately, they don’t bring in $$$…☹️

  15. Prudence Taylor

    I remember when you couldn’t get a seat at a UMaine /UConn swim meet. Yes that was a longggg time ago.

  16. Jocelyne Humbert O

    Shame on these Universities when the kids need their sport for some normal in these crazy times… now their sport is taken away. Hold on swimming, you’re in for a roller coaster ride.

  17. John McCormack

    Hey Geno? Coach Edsel? It’s about the kids right? ADs making big bucks off of Geno, how ‘ bout it? Only Title IX saves the women’s program

  18. Rob Duguay

    Well looks like Connecticut Masters will be getting an influx of 18-24 year olds

  19. Sarah Yeager

    My daughter played water polo at Sonoma State and they cut it also 😢! So sad for the student athletes that work so hard 😞

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