Iowa Football Returns But Swimming, Tennis, & Gymnastics Never Will
When the Big Ten officially announced the return of football next month, a large group of student-athletes at the University of Iowa hoped that would mean good news for their programs that were recently cut. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case.
After yesterday's announcement that Iowa would start the football season the weekend of October 23-24, Iowa's News Now reports alumni of the four programs being cut held a news conference that asked for the programs they loved to be reinstated. It won't happen. The University of Iowa Athletic Department says the Board of Regents was in agreement with the cuts and that they are "final."
For the student-athletes who take part in men's gymnastics, men's tennis, and men's and women's swimming and diving at Iowa, Friday, August 21 was the day they found out their Iowa careers would be ending.
Sports Illustrated reports that the athletes in the three sports were notified the morning of August 21 of a meeting at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Ninety-six athletes were in the room when the bad news was delivered that the 2020-21 school year would be the last one for their sport at the University of Iowa. That's 96 young people who had their world's turned upside down.
After receiving the tough news, the 30-plus members of the Iowa men's swimming and diving team met. According to Sports Illustrated, senior Tom Schab stood on a chair and delivered this message to his teammates:
No matter what, we are a team—even if we no longer have a team. Even if we end up in different states and different countries, even if some of us end up on different teams. We have to stick together. Hawks help Hawks.
The team then sang the Iowa fight song.
Iowa will host the NCAA men's swimming and diving championships in March. Afterward, the Iowa swim program will end after 103 years. The place where the butterfly stroke was born is likely to never see it, competitively, again.