USA Swimming and College Swim Coaches Association Set To Join Forces to Save College Scholarships

COLORADO SPRINGS – In a landmark Board of Directors decision, USA Swimming has joined the fight to save college scholarships for swimming in a substantial way with a significant grant going to the College Swim Coaches Association of America (CSCAA).

This past weekend, the USA Swimming Board of Directors approved a three-year grant estimated to be $125,000 a year to the CSCAA to help fund initiatives that will be used to save college swimming as we know it.

The two organizations will be announcing details of the grant shortly.

“Collegiate swimmers consistently and significantly raise the value and prestige of their campus communities,” USA Swimming Executive Director Chuck Wielgus said. “This collective effort will reinforce the impact a swimming program brings the college, its present and future student-athletes and the university community at-large. Preserving college swimming roster positions is critical as these are important opportunities for personal growth and producing tomorrow’s leaders.”

With college football and basketball players almost assured to become semi-pro athletes in the next few years, the entire economic landscape of college athletics is shifting.  This puts all expensive non-revenue sports on the chopping block as ways for athletics departments to balance the checkbook with the upcoming rise in cost of fielding football and basketball teams.

USA Swimming’s grant to the CSCAA will enable the organization to put a full court press towards the preservation and strengthening of NCAA scholarship swimming, while still being able to meet the needs of all of collegiate swimming and diving programs.

In essence, this initial infusion of cash into the CSCAA organization is USA Swimming’s first major play to save the linchpin of all U.S. swimming.

Nearly every single USA Swimming club program dangles carrots in front of age group swimmers to keep them motivated.  Goal times and records are definitely a core part of the process, and an Olympic medal is always the Holy Grail for any swimmer.

But, a college scholarship is the single major goal any age grouper can fight for.

As long as you can make a scoring impact on a college team, you have a chance for money to help pay for school.  This means that elite five-star swimmers and some middle-of-the-road three-star prospects both have the chance to find money.  It just depends on which team you can help when it comes to college conference meets.

USA Swimming club coaches all know this as they help athletes tailor goals towards achieving a college athletic scholarship.  But, that’s about to change unless the swimming community does something about it.

With this new grant, USA Swimming has mustered up some serious dollars to preserve a way of life for swimmers in the United States, as well as international imports who are able to take advantage of the immense training system built up here in the U.S.

CSCAA Executive Director Joel Shinofield said that the organization will use the grant to add another position within the organization to free up some resources to fully tackle the threats coming at the NCAA Division I level.  He also explained that Wielgus and American Swim Coaches Association Executive Director John Leonard were integral to the grant.

For those scoring at home, that’s the leaders of club swimming, college swimming and coaches from nearly every other walk of life all on the same page looking to eliminate the threats to NCAA scholarship swimming.

4 Comments

4 comments

  1. avatar
    Ken

    Not sure why College championship swim meets are not promoted and shown on TV. I am a swim parent and new to the sport but I have always watch swimming in the Olympics. I can say that not everyone wants to watch swimming live due to the slow pace of the Meets but TV can shorten and make the Meets more enjoyable for majority of the population. I believe swimmers on the College level and professional swimmers make great role models for kids more so than football or basketball player.

  2. Ann Karwath Friederichs

    I hope they understand that without college scholarships there will be less college swimmers and swim programs and ultimately less future swim coaches for either club or high school swimming

Author: Jason Marsteller

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Jason Marsteller is the general manager of digital properties at Swimming World. He joined Swimming World in June 2006 as the managing editor after previous stints as a media relations professional at Indiana University, the University of Tennessee, Southern Utah University and the Utah Summer Games.

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