Gary Barta explains decision to reinstate women’s swimming & diving

Published: Feb. 16, 2021 at 7:32 PM CST
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - On Monday, University of Iowa Athletic Director Gary Barta announced women’s swimming and diving is re-instated, months after cutting the program and three others.

In September, team members filed a lawsuit against Barta and the department citing Title XI violations. Months later, a federal judge granted an injunction that forced the athletics department to stop any plans of cutting women’s swimming and diving, but that injunction was only temporary.

How the lawsuit will end up is unknown, which was part of the reason Barta made the new decision to reinstate the program.

“I don’t know how it will get resolved,” Barta said on Tuesday. “I just know that because of the uncertainty, I made the decision to reinstate swimming.”

Reinstating women’s swimming and diving gives the coaches and student-athletes the opportunity to compete beyond this season. What is doesn’t do is stop the lawsuit.

“The disagreements still exist,” Barta said. “The reinstatement is based on that because it doesn’t look like a resolution is coming anytime soon. Again, it could last several months, could last a few years. I just made the decision that it was the right thing to do to move forward,”

Barta also said Tuesday that the three other programs, Men’s swimming & diving, men’s tennis and men’s gymnastics are still getting cut citing the revenue loss of between 50 and 60 million dollars, largely from no ticker revenue from football. In comparison, the annual budget for womens swimming and diving is 1.5 million dollars. When asked if there’s any intention to cut women’s swimming again, once the legal process is complete, Barta explained why he’s hesitant to use the word permanent.

“I can’t predict permanent, is that forever?” Barta said. “I can’t predict what what happens with name image and likeness and other things happening in college sports but yes, it is a full fledged, no look back, fully reinstated moving forward decision regardless of what happens in the legal process. Women’s swimming remains at Iowa”

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