Plans for Boston College’s new recreation center, a multi-year $200 million project, will combine the swimming and diving areas. This will make it impossible to continue holding swimming and diving competitions simultaneously.
“We'll have to pause the swim meet while diving competes,” explains diver Robert McCrory, MCAS ‘19. “Although we will still be able to host diving, since it would now be one event instead of two, it would make the meet substantially longer, so a lot of teams that come to our pool will choose not to have the diving portion.”
There has also been discontent voiced from the swim side of the team.
“I say that our team should be given the same training opportunities and tools that the other teams are entitled to and provided with at BC," says swimmer Chloé Kargodorian, CSOM ‘19. "The fact that we aren't given a fair fight in terms of the facilities we need to train at our best means that we're not being given a fair chance at bettering the future of BCSD (Boston College Swimming and Diving).”
However, interim swimming and diving Head Coach Michael Stephens believes that his divers will be able to overcome the “time-management challenge that traveling to an off-site practice facility will present.” Stephens is also confident in the team’s ability to maintain a high-energy dynamic at home meets because of the new opportunity for divers and swimmers to spectate and cheer one other on.
Additionally, the new pool will have two one meter diving boards, but no three meter diving board. Consequently, although they can host NCAA meets, BC Diving will not be able to host the three meter diving event. In fact, the team will have to travel to another pool in the area to practice on three meter boards.
The combination of increased travel time and limited home competition will make it harder for the diving team to attract potential recruits, which may in turn hurt its long-term success.
"After we got this news towards the end of last season, our dive coach (Erica Feinberg) decided not to come back," remarks McCrory. “Above all, it is going to make recruiting divers much harder, and upholding the standard and skill of our dive team as it is now is going to be nearly impossible.”
Stephens remains hopeful, as he says from a recruiting perspective, “We are fortunate that many of our divers choose our program not for the diving facility, but for the team’s energy, ambition, and the experience that becoming a student-athlete at Boston College provides.”
On the upside, the new facility will fit up to 200 spectators and feature a new scoreboard and timing system, meaning BC may now host competitions for the Men and Women’s Club Water Polo teams.