Is College Swimming Going Extinct?!

Pat Forde & McGee Moody break down the $2.8 BILLION dollar NCAA settlement.

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Is College Swimming Going Extinct?!

Brett talks with Pat Forde, Sports Illustrated sports journalist, and McGee Moody, former Head Coach of William & Mary and the University of South Carolina. Together, they delve into the profound changes sweeping through NCAA athletics, focusing on how these shifts impact athletes and coaches, as well as the entire sport of swimming. With insights from their extensive careers, they aim to bring clarity to a time of unprecedented transition.

Understanding the NCAA Settlement

Pat Forde kicks off the discussion by explaining the landmark $2.8 billion NCAA settlement, emphasizing its potential ramifications. If approved, this settlement would channel significant funds to past, present, and future athletes. Schools, facing substantial new financial burdens, may need to contribute $17 to $22 million annually. This, Pat warns, could lead to severe budgetary constraints, possibly even resulting in the reduction or elimination of certain sports programs, with swimming being particularly vulnerable due to its high costs and low revenue.

Impact on Swimming Programs

McGee Moody provides a ground-level perspective on the challenges these financial shifts present to swimming programs. Drawing from his experience at South Carolina, he highlights the need for coaches to demonstrate their program's value to university administrators. With potential cuts looming, he stresses the importance of fundraising and strategic planning to sustain programs. McGee also touches on the broader implications for NCAA sports, noting that decisions made at the top could ripple down, disproportionately affecting Olympic sports at mid-major institutions. He suggests that while some schools might cut sports, others might seize the opportunity to strengthen their programs by reallocating resources.

Future Strategies

The conversation shifts to individual athletes like Grant House, who, ironically, might see their actions in support of athlete compensation lead to unintended negative consequences for their sports. Pat explains that House's involvement in the settlement stems from a broader push for fair compensation, yet it brings new financial pressures to bear on university athletic departments. Pat and McGee both underscore the need for proactive measures from coaches and athletic departments to navigate these changes. This includes highlighting the academic and community contributions of sports programs and seeking external funding sources. They also call for national bodies like USA Swimming to step up and support college programs, recognizing their critical role in developing Olympic-level athletes.

Advice for Athletes and Parents

As the episode concludes, the panel offers practical advice to athletes and their families. They emphasize the importance of thorough research when choosing colleges, considering factors like athletic budgets and the stability of sports programs. They also advocate for a renewed focus on loyalty and commitment, encouraging athletes to make well-informed decisions about their educational and athletic careers.

Lastly, they discusses the upcoming USA Swimming Olympic Trials being held in Lucas Oil Stadium.


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Time Stamps:
00:00 Introduction and overview 01:25 Recent changes in NCAA athletics 03:48 Pat Forde's insight on the NCAA settlement 06:05 Concerns about sports being cut 08:45 McGee Moody discusses fundraising and value addition 11:20 Unlimited scholarships and roster caps proposals 13:30 The impact on Olympic sports in Power Four conferences 15:45 Grant House's involvement and perspective on the settlement 18:30 The need for swimming programs to demonstrate their worth 20:50 The involvement of USA Swimming and USOPC 23:15 Scholarship roster limits and potential effects on swimming 25:30 Timeline for getting more clarity on NCAA changes 28:00 Financial pressures 31:00 Long-term changes in college athletics 33:00 Potential scenarios for Division I sports sponsorship 35:30 SEC and Big Ten influence 38:00 The possibility of splitting from NCAA for major conferences 40:00 Impact on NCAA basketball tournament and small school access 42:30 Discussion on the upcoming US Olympic Trials in Indianapolis 45:00 Advice for swimmers competing in big meets 47:00 Final thoughts