Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Why keep swimming an "M&W" sport?

Agree or disagree:

Dropping men's swimming hurts women's programs.

Need more information?

Let's explore, shall we?

What if there were combined team scores at the 2012 NCAA Division-I championships?

It would have looked like this:

1. Cal Berkeley-948
2. Stanford-744.5
3. Arizona-695
4. Texas-692
5. Southern California-517.5
6. Auburn-503.5
7. Georgia-472.5
8. Texas A&M-359
9. Florida-317
10. Michigan-285
11. Tennessee-283
12. Indiana-255
13. Louisville-179
14. Minnesota-162
15. Arizona State-159
16. Missouri-144
17. Ohio State-140
18. Florida State-137
19. Virginia-125
20. Virginia Tech-106
21. UNC-118.5
22. Wisconsin-110
23. Penn State-86
24. Southern Methodist-67
25. Notre Dame-45

Although some scored only in one gender, all twenty-five (25) of these schools sponsor both men’s and women’s programs.

Think it’s unfair of me to post "slanted" statistics like these? What, if anything, does it prove?

Here’s where a few women-only teams placed in the 2012 NCAA Division-I women’s championships:

26. Miami-20
37T. UCLA-9
37T. Toledo-9
41. Arkansas-7
47T. Boise State-2
49T. New Mexico-1

Still not being fair? Many schools didn't have any qualifiers or scoring athletes/relays, right?

Okay, let’s back up from NCAA’s and check out conference results for women-only squads. Would that be more "fair"?

Big Ten (12 teams) - Illinois (10th), Nebraska (11th)
Big XII (5 teams) - Kansas (4th), Iowa State (5th)
Pac-12 (9 teams) - UCLA (5th), Oregon State (8th), Washington State (9th)
SEC (10 teams) - Arkansas (6th), Vanderbilt (10th)
Big East (11 teams) - Cincinnati* (7th), Rutgers (8th)
ACC (12 teams) - Miami (6th)**, Wake Forest (12th)
Conference USA (6 teams) - Rice (2nd), Houston (4th), Marshall (5th), Tulane (6th)

*Cincinnati men compete but are being defunded.
**Miami sponsors only diving for the men.

Spot a trend?

That's right, fans: There's a high correlation between performance in women's college swimming and the sponsorship of both men's and women's college swim teams.

Okay, okay! I know correlation doesn't imply causation.

If it did, we could wipe out U.S. highway fatalities by importing more lemons from Mexico, right?



tremms said...

As a collegiate swimmer, I definitely agree with this accusation. I swim in DII and have noticed that the sponsorship of both genders encourages intra-team competition in practice and at meets. Nothing irks me more than when our women place higher at a meet than our men do.

I know that with almost all of these programs mentioned, men and women will not practice together. But, speaking from my Division II perspective, this should theoretically benefit females more than males because of the general difference in speed. While racing against a male in practice may help a top-end female, there isn't always a faster person for that male to race.

Lion King said...

I disagree. I will not eat (and certainly not buy or import) ANY produce from Mejico. You don't want to know what is considered acceptable fertilizer on some farms.

As for the gender thing, how about a look at how the now-single-gender places did when they WERE dual-gender places? Just curious.

curator scio res eram donatus ut vir ut a plaga

Button said...

miami and ucla used to be much better.

Button said...

houston & arkansas, too.

Anonymous said...

Have you done any analysis on success on combined vs. separate M and W programs? Now that UTenn combined their programs I'm wondering which way is better/more successful?


Button said...

will be interesting to look into that.