Oregon State University Vice President and Director of Athletics Scott Barnes announced Monday that women’s swimming will be discontinued by OSU at the end of the 2018-19 season.
Barnes said the decision to discontinue swimming is based upon Oregon State’s commitment to offer all student-athletes a quality, equitable and competitive NCAA experience in keeping with the athletics department’s strategic plan; provide quality and equitable facilities for all teams; and balance financial requirements for athletics facilities.
“This decision followed a comprehensive review of all sports,” Barnes said. “Facility requirements contributed to this decision as we realize that OSU campus pool facilities do not meet NCAA standards.”
OSU women’s swim team holds home meets at the city-owned Osborn Aquatics Center.
“It is cost prohibitive to renovate existing campus swimming facilities,” Barnes said. “A new swimming and diving facility would cost about $20 million to build, not including the cost of annual maintenance. Investing in competitive swimming program facilities would negatively impact the ability to serve facility requirements for all sports and all OSU student-athletes.”
OSU’s swimming roster includes 21 student-athletes and two coaches.
“Oregon State University will provide campus resources to assist all team members.” Barnes said. “All student-athlete scholarships will be honored as long as they maintain university progress toward graduation.”
OSU will assist any student-athlete that wishes to enter the NCAA transfer portal at any time during their tenure at the university. Student-athletes will be immediately eligible to compete in swimming at any institution per NCAA regulations.
“I want to commend the efforts of Coach Buffin, Coach Wong and each of our swimming student-athletes. They have represented OSU and our swimming program with utmost class,” Deputy Athletic Director for Administration and Senior Woman’s Administrator Marianne Vydra said. “We are mindful of the effects this decision will have on current team members, their families and alumnus of the program, and we will do everything in our power to assist personally the young women and staff move forward as they seek opportunities beyond OSU swimming.”
With the discontinuation of swimming, OSU will field a total of 17 intercollegiate sports that includes 10 programs on the women’s side: gymnastics, volleyball, golf, rowing, basketball, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, softball, soccer, and cross country. Men’s sports include football, basketball, baseball, soccer, golf, wrestling and rowing.
“Moving forward, Oregon State Athletics will sponsor approximately 550 opportunities for its student-athletes to compete at the highest level of NCAA intercollegiate sports,” Barnes said.