Iowa will hold a press conference at 12:30 p.m. today, DearOldGold reports on Twitter. DearOldGold is an Iowa Hawkeyes-focused website that is part of the Fansided Multi-Site Sports Network. The tweet says Iowa will cut four programs (swim and dive, men’s gymnastics, men’s tennis) at the end of this school year, news another source confirmed to SwimSwam.
#Iowa will drop out of men’s and women’s swimming, men’s gymnastics and men’s tennis at the end of the school year, according to the source. Salaries and scholarships will be honored upon graduation. Press conference at 12:30 p.m. today.
– Dear Old Gold (@DearOldGold) 21 août 2020
Iowa is participating in the Big Ten, which this month announced the postponement of the fall football season. Iowa was already facing roughly $ 15 million in athletics budget cuts due to the global coronavirus pandemic, and that was before football was canceled.
The Hawkeyes finished 9th out of 13 women’s programs and 6th among 10 men’s programs at the 2020 Big Ten Championships. They had qualified two women and two men for the NCAA Championships, which were canceled amid the coronavirus pandemic.
A cut in Iowa would be by far the biggest program cut in an offseason that has already been brutal for varsity swimming at the Division I level. Five Division I schools have already cut swimming and diving programs during the off season:
- Boise State (female)
- UConn (men)
- Dartmouth (women and men)
- East Carolina (women and men)
- Western Illionis (women and men) – suspended indefinitely
You can see a full list of water program cuts so far this offseason here.
Iowa would be the first Power-5 school to cut a swim and dive program since Clemson eliminated its men’s swim and dive and women’s swim programs in 2012.
A cutoff in Iowa would also be surprising, as the school has one of the best (and newest) facilities in the country. The $ 69 million campus recreation and wellness center opened just ten years ago in 2010. (The school has invested $ 5-6 million in pool repairs the last summer).
This pool has previously hosted several Big Ten Championships as well as the 2015 NCAA Men’s Championships. Iowa is also host to the 2021 NCAA Men’s Championships – if the reports are correct, this would be the last potential meet on the schedule. Iowa before his elimination.
Update: President of Iowa Bruce Harreld and sports director Gary Barta issued the following statement:
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a financial requirement that threatens our continued ability to adequately support 24 intercollegiate athletic programs at the desired championship level. With the postponement of the Big Ten Conference fall competition on August 11, UI Athletics is now projecting a loss of revenue of about $ 100 million and an overall deficit of $ 60-75 million this fiscal year. A loss of this magnitude will take years to overcome. We have a plan for recover, but the journey will be difficult.