Wright State University Cuts Swimming as Cost-Cutting Measure

Wright State University announced Friday morning that it is cutting it’s women’s and men’s swimming and diving programs “effective immediately.”

Located outside of Dayton, Ohio, Wright State’s women finished seventh in the eight-team Horizon League championships this year, and the men were fourth out of seven teams. But the program will cease to exist immediately. All student-athletes will be allowed to transfer without penalty, and scholarships will continue to be honored.

Both the University of Buffalo and the University of North Dakota have cut their swimming programs this spring, leaving athletes little time to find an institution to transfer to. Wright State swimmers wishing to continue their careers will be at an even greater disadvantage, as their news did not break until late May.

Wright State University announced today that Intercollegiate Athletics will implement cost-cutting measures that will eliminate men’s and women’s swimming & diving, effective immediately.

Athletics expects to save approximately $500,000 annually in scholarship costs, salaries, team budgets, travel and facility maintenance, once all of the cutbacks are fully realized.  The department will continue to honor the financial aid of all student-athletes affected until they graduate.  These student-athletes will be permitted, by NCAA rules, to transfer to another institution without penalty.

“This is the most difficult decision I have been involved with since it will have such a large impact on the lives of our student-athletes and staff,” Wright State director of athletics Bob Grant said.  “These student-athletes have been great ambassadors for the University, in and out of competition.”

“We have spent the past few months working with the University leadership to find ways to help with the financial crisis on campus,” Grant said.  “Unfortunately, in these difficult times, we need to do what is in the long-term, best interests of the University.”

Grant met with the coaches involved in the decision yesterday, and the student-athletes were informed this morning.

Read the full press release from Wright State here:

26 Comments

26 comments

  1. avatar
    Butler Buck

    WSU recruited my son, but he decided to go elsewhere.

    Sorry this happened.

    • avatar
      Geo Metro

      What’s your point?

  2. Miranda Emaus

    Ok this is just wrong. They have little to no time to find a school to transfer to. It was awful what happened to North Dakota and Buffalo’s swim teams and LSSU’s softball team but they at least announced it during the school year.

  3. Amanda Lynn

    Urgh!!! NCAA needs to pass a rule that these announcements have to be made a year in advance so swimmers can plan and adjust recruiting

    • avatar
      Swim3057

      While the intent of what you are suggesting is admirable and makes some sense, the chance of this happening are almost non-existent. “The NCAA” are the member schools who would have to vote to limit the flexibility they currently have to do this unfortunate thing. Since this would be a Division I vote – you are asking the very same schools who are doing the cutting to implement a rule limiting their own flexibility.

  4. Jackie Sun

    It’s always swimming!!! ?

  5. Betsy Luminais

    To announce this now and say they can transfer”without penalty” is a joke. All the scholarship money is gone at other schools! This is a disgrace!

  6. avatar
    flutterby

    If the schools want to cut costs, they should cut football. It’s the most expensive sport and despite what the athletic directors may say, very few colleges actually make a profit on that sport.

    • avatar
      Geo Metro

      No football at Wright State.

  7. Max Bateman

    And probably gave the football coach a raise.

    • Rob Johnson

      Wright state doesn’t have football. They do have basketball.

  8. Charlene Tallen

    Read about this school. It’s having some real issues. Poor kids.

  9. Bonnie Adler

    One of my dearest friend’s daughter and her boyfriend were directly impacted devastated by this news. What is going on with these schools not valuing swimming and our hardworking kids?

  10. avatar
    Dana Abbott-NISCA

    Sad to see the loss of ANY athletic program. One must ask why athletic programs exist in the first place if they are such a drain on university budgets. Perhaps costs and expenditures in other areas have risen disproportionately? Granted, WSU has been facing budget issues for the past several years, but cutting an entire program at a university again?

    From a July 15, 2016 article in the Dayton Daily News, which is hardly surprising:

    “The practice of subsidizing college athletics through student fees or general funds is not unusual. In fact, Ohio State is the only self-supporting university in the state — and one of just two-dozen across the nation — that operates without subsidies, according to a USA Today database of athletic finances at public universities.”

    So, what’s the solution for intercollegiate athletic programs? The trend seems to be externally-funded endowments to fund the program needs in perpetuity, such as has been initiated for swimming and diving at The University of Texas and other institutions.

    Citing needs to trim budgets by cutting entire programs instead of scaling back across the board seems rather drastic. I looked at Nebraska’s athletic program budget when it cut men’s swimming in 2001. They reported at the time they needed to save 1.3% from the athletic budget. So instead of perhaps trimming 1.3% across all budgets, they cut men’s swimming. I railed about it in the NISCA Journal at the time, and it still astounds me that the decision was made to kill an entire program instead of asking everyone to tighten their belts a little. And the “savings” seemed to be distributed in increased salaries to the (guess what?) football and basketball programs. Budget-tightening, indeed.

    Sad for all the young men at WSU, North Dakota, and Buffalo. Sad indeed. What’s sadder is that more will follow because of all the precedents.

  11. avatar
    M Perry Dolan

    Just another move by the University system to cut Non Revenue Sports in favor of Football and Basketball. You can bet your bottom dollar they won’t be cutting dollars from those two programs.
    This will continue to happen until we pressure the Sports News media, to do a better job recognizing what they call the lessor sports. Stand up athletes, parents and coaches and do some complaining in the right direction.

  12. avatar
    Dana Abbott-NISCA

    Well, it -seems- that the excuse of needing to trim budgets as a rationale for dropping a program doesn’t ring as very honest. WSU claimed it needed to save money and would realize a $500k savings by dropping swimming and diving. But then they turn around and increase the athletic budget by $1.6M. Something is fishy in Denmark, and it isn’t herring.

    http://www.daytondailynews.com/sports/sports-casualty-wright-state-cuts-swimming-diving-programs/ka7JEhUxjc9neahpqhS2lM/

Author: David Rieder

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David Rieder is the host of Swimming World TV and a staff writer. A contributor to Swimming World since 2009, he has covered NCAA Championships, U.S. Nationals, Olympic Trials and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. He is a native of Charleston, S.C., and a 2016 graduate of Duke University.

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