Wednesday, October 1, 2008

NCAA Men's Swimming & Diving

Iowa's mens swimming and diving team opens this year with the Black and Gold intra squad meet here on campus at the Field House on Saturday October 4th at 10am. The mens swimming team finished unranked last year, so there is room for improvement. For the Iowa's mens swimming team, this year will mark the end of probation on November 1st.

College swimming has had a roller coaster year when earlier this year, Arizona State University cut mens swimming and in July, and then ASU reinstated the men's team. I have written on my take as to why the ASU men's swimming, wrestling and tennis teams were originally cut - wrestling was re-instated in May 2008. One of the interesting things to keep an eye on is that in order for ASU to re-instate both the men's wrestling and swimming teams, the team's had to go out and get financial backing. This will be an interesting model to consider, given budgetary constraints faced by all academic institutions. One question is whether donor's gifts will focus more on athletics as opposed to academics. The other question I think about is if outside groups are funding these athletic sports, why do they need to be attached to an institution of higher learning?

Looking at the 2005-2006 academic year numbers, we see that the Iowa's men's swimming and diving team is right in line with the Big 10 in terms of per student losses, with Iowa having about 10 less swimmers & divers than the average Big 10 school. The other big NCAA conferences have similar losses per student ranging from about -$17,500 to about -$25,750. Given the high costs of the sport, we can see why swimming and diving are high on NCAA atheletic director's chopping block.

School Number Revenue Expense Loss Loss/Student
Iowa 19 $17,456 $434,147 -$416,691 -$21,931
Big 10 29.5 $132,928 $767,744 -$634,816 -$22,481
ACC 25.0 $123,938 $409,135 -$285,197 -$17,509
Big 12 32.0 $258,391 $1,038,088 -$779,697 -$24,539
Pac 10 31.0 $139,163 $771,755 -$632,592 -$20,698
SEC 28.6 $135,357 $877,258 -$741,901 -$25,727

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