The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News


This poll has ended.

Do you treat student evaluations seriously?


Sorry, there was an error loading this poll.

Loading Recent Classifieds...

COLUMN: EIU should move on from swim program

Following an investigation, the men’s swim team is suspended for the fall semester.

It’s time to move on from competitive swimming at Eastern.  

At the recent Summit League Championships for Swimming and Diving, both the Panther men’s and women’s swim teams finished in eighth place, which is last in the Summit League. The men finished with 86 points, which is 88 behind seventh place and 782 points behind the conference winners, the University of Denver.  

The women did a bit better, scoring 145 points. While it’s just 12 behind seventh place, it’s 835 points off what the winners scored (also the University of Denver) and 324 points off a top four finish.  

Recent history is bleak as well. The men haven’t had a higher finish in conference than fourth in the last 10 years, and the highest the women got was fifth in that same timespan.  

The women have never won a conference title, with their highest finish being second back in 2006. They’ve only finished in the top three four times since becoming a Division I team in 1982. Likewise, the men have also never won a conference title since becoming a Division I team, finishing in the top three of their conference nine times since 1981. 

Conference standings don’t tell the whole story though, as you have to consider why the Panthers struggled this season with one glaring issue staring everyone in the face.  

Eastern doesn’t have a dive team, meaning they’re competing short-handed every season at the conference tournament.  

Not having a dive team is like playing a football game without having a defense. What’s the point of having a team of swimmers if you know that they will never have a chance of winning because they’re being held back by the limitations of being short-handed. It isn’t fair to the current swimmers that can only compete against themselves because it’s unrealistic and unachievable to strive for a conference championship. 

The operating budget for both teams is $32,083. That’s money that could go towards reforming athletic facilities, boosting the budget of other programs at Eastern or it could go towards creating new programs, such as men’s and women’s water polo. 

Then there’s the whole hazing incident that happened with the men’s swim team last fall. While that in itself isn’t enough to warrant disbanding the program, it did certainly bring unnecessary headaches to the already stressed athletic department.  

There’s a lot of money, time, hassle and negative press that has become associated with these swim programs. It’s time to determine whether or not continuing these programs, which have no chance of being competitive with their Summit League competition, is really in the best interest of Eastern’s student athletes, coaches and fans.  


Gabe Newman can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]. 

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

Commenting on the Daily Eastern News web site is a privilege, not a right. We reserve the right to remove comments that contain obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language. Also, comments containing personal attacks or threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
All The Daily Eastern News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest