News from the Hilltop
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Birmingham-Southern College to add swimming and diving teams; will begin competition in 2012 at Birmingham Metro Crossplex
BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Birmingham-Southern College's new men's and women's swimming and diving teams will begin competition in fall 2012 using the Olympic-size pool at the new Birmingham Metro Crossplex for practice and home meets.
BSC Athletics Director Joe Dean Jr. announced the newest additions to the college's NCAA Division III sports offerings this week, bringing to 22 the number of varsity sports teams at the college.
Dean said that a search is already under way for a swimming and diving coach, who will immediately begin recruiting student-athletes to begin competition in the 2012-13 academic year.
"There is a great interest in swimming and diving not only locally through high school and club teams, but also across the state and the South," said Dean. "We will provide an opportunity for many outstanding swimmers and divers to continue participating beyond high school and to receive one of the best educations in the country at the same time. It's a win-win for the college and the scholar-athletes.
"With the new Birmingham Metro Crossplex literally in our neighborhood, that was the first place we turned when looking for facilities for both practice and competition. We are excited about this new partnership with the city of Birmingham."
Dean said he anticipates that Birmingham-Southern's first swimming and diving team will include about 20 student-athletes.
On July 1, 2012, Birmingham-Southern will become a member of a new athletics conference that includes Berry College, Centre College, Hendrix College, Millsaps College, Oglethorpe University, Rhodes College, and Sewanee: The University of the South. Six of the eight members of the new league will participate in swimming and diving.
"This was an easy decision to make," said BSC President Gen. Charles C. Krulak. "I am very accustomed to conducting a cost/benefit analysis. In this case, the benefits far outweigh the costs associated with such a move. The costs of fielding swimming and diving teams are minimal, especially when you have a world-class natatorium right down the street from the college.
"The returns, however, will be tremendous. Obviously there is revenue when you attract an additional 20 students to campus, but Birmingham-Southern also benefits by further enriching the lives of all our students when we integrate another sport into our educational experience. On top of that, we provide these young men and women with opportunities—in education and in life—that they just won't find at most other colleges and universities."
In addition to the new men's and women's swimming and diving teams, Birmingham-Southern also competes in men's and women's basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, tennis, and indoor and outdoor track and field, and baseball, football, softball, and women's volleyball.
Last month, Birmingham-Southern was approved by the NCAA as a full active member of Division III effective Sept. 1, 2011. All of the college's men's and women's varsity sports teams will be eligible for NCAA Division III championships beginning with the upcoming 2011-12 academic year. BSC also will be eligible for Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference postseason tournament championships this year. Birmingham-Southern will remain a member of the SCAC through June 2012.