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Ask Cam

Treading water on men's swimming

April 18, 2011

An Aggie swimming team member rips the water in a January 1953 photo taken for Student Activities-Minor Sports-Swimming.Question:

When did CSU drop men's swimming? I was on the team for the 1976-77 and 77-78 school years. Do you know if there is any archived information? Team rosters, school and pool records, meet results, etc. Thanks.

Cam’s answer:

Great to hear from a talented alum!

I asked John Mattos, CSU’s swim coach, about your question, and he told me the men’s team was dropped in the spring of 1980. 

“Title IX had a huge impact on the budgets of all sports programs at that time, and with no marketing office in place, five sports got the ax,” John says. “I was gone after 1971, so I have no record of that time, but Gary Ozzello (Athletics’ senior associate director for External Relations)  may have some access to archived information on the men’s team.

“I do know that Coach Roach, Coach Meechum, and Coach Illman all did two-year stints from 1974-1980, when the men’s and women’s teams were combined.” 

Wade in the water

Following up on John’s tip, I did a little more exploring, and found out that there really isn’t much more information to offer about men’s swimming in the dusty racks of history. I took a look at history Professor Emeritus Jim Hansen’s second volume of CSU’s history (which doesn’t gather much dust on my shelf), and discovered that men’s wrestling and gymnastics also were eliminated around the same time as men’s swimming. I don’t know what the other two sports were that got the ax.  

Finally, Zak Gilbert, director of media relations for Athletics, told me that information from the era in question is limited. “It’s archived conventionally, not electronically,” Zak says. “If your Ask Cam reader wants specific info, we can send it along.”

By the way, Jim’s history book, called Democracy’s College, provides an extensive history of Title IX. It was a fascinating and controversial time in athletics for CSU and universities throughout the nation.   

Cam the Ram