Contributor Rick Paine is an expert on the college recruiting process. He is also the Director of Swimming at American College Connection (ACC). AAC is a Swimswam Partner.
As if getting recruited isn’t tough enough it is about to get a whole lot tougher.
I have been recently speaking with most of the upper-level D-I coaches and they are all telling me that they are being forced to reduce their roster size for men and women.
A couple of months ago, the University of Texas announced that they were going to provide a $6,000 (approximate) stipend per year to every student-athlete at the school. This affects all student-athletes, including Walk-Ons.
Since Texas is doing this, the other D-I programs that want to compete with Texas will have to follow suit. Texas has just under 700 student-athletes at the school so we are talking about an extra $4,000,000+ that the school has to come up with each year.
Most athletic departments are not prepared for this kind of expense that wasn’t budgeted for.
Their answer is to reduce roster sizes.
It has already started. One upper-level program just cut 16 swimmers from their roster. There will be more to come.
This will have a trickle-down effect that will have a great impact on recruiting. These Walk-On’s at upper-level programs will have to find new homes. They will be taking roster spots and scholarships at lower-level schools that otherwise they would have turned down.
We are also seeing rosters filing much faster than ever before and swimming scholarships are being offered much earlier.
This will have a positive impact on college swimming because the talent will get spread out to lower-level D-I, D-II, D-III and NAIA schools. There are some great college coaches who get overlooked because they are not with one of the Big Dogs.
Combine this with the Super Senior year that will last another 3 years and you can understand why recruiting is getting that much harder.
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