Hawkeye’s Reinstate Women’s Swimming and Diving Team

The+University+Iowa+Women%E2%80%99s+Swimming+and+Diving+Team+was+recently+reinstated.+

Nathan Lokenvitz

The University Iowa Women’s Swimming and Diving Team was recently reinstated.

Nathan Lokenvitz, Multimedia Manager

The Iowa women’s swimming and diving team has recently been reinstated after a federal judge claimed that Iowa would most likely be in violation of Title IX if they went through with the termination of the program. 

The university had previously announced that the program was going to be cut in August of 2020 in an attempt to save money following the huge loss of funds the football program would normally generate. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the football program fell about $50 to $60 million short of their usual haul this past season, causing the university to have to make budget cuts. 

These budget cuts originally included the termination of the men’s swimming and diving program, men’s tennis team, men’s gymnastics team and the women’s swimming and diving program. “The financial challenge remains significant and the decision to discontinue the three men’s sports identified will remain in place,” stated Gary Barta, the Athletic Director at the University of Iowa. Out of the four programs on the chopping block, only the women’s swimming and diving team will return to the university’s pool of sports teams. 

In September of 2020, a group of athletes representing the womens swimming team went to court with a lawsuit claiming that the school was in violation of Title IX, the federal gender equity law. At the collegiate sports level, Title IX is meant to ensure that men and women have equitable participation opportunities, as well as access to scholarships. 

If a school is found in violation of Title IX, federal authorities could penalize the school in various ways including redistributing scholarships, revising policies regarding said program or shifting spending within the school. If a school does not act on their violation and make corrective changes, then the school could face losing federal funding.  

Not only is the return of the program a positive for the current members of the Iowa swimming and diving team, but it also presents an opportunity for high school swimmers as a potential place to carry on their career at a respected swimming program. “The Iowa swim and dive program has a long and influential history. The reinstatement will allow so many athletes to continue their swimming careers,” said varsity swimmer Sarah Kowing. 

The University of Iowa has had some solid women’s swimming teams in recent years, and finished 9th at the 2019 B1G Championships. The program has had a wide range of recruiting in the past, and now they can continue to create opportunities for young, talented swimmers across the country. 

The University recognized that the program presents an opportunity for many local swimmers that may be looking to swim at the collegiate level. “We made the decision the right thing to do was to reinstate the women’s swimming and diving program and remove any uncertainty moving forward for our current student-athletes as well as high school swimmers considering attending the University of Iowa,” Barta said. 

With the program reinstated, the Hawkeyes can continue to make a splash in the Big Ten Conference. Over the past ten years Iowa has had many great swim teams, and now that the team is back, this next wave of swimmers is sure to prolong the Hawkeye’s success.