Monday, March 30, 2009


The Auburn Men's Swimming Team won its eighth national championship in the past thirteen seasons last weekend. Please note, that's "won," not "claimed." Predictably, and shamefully, the media in Alabama scarcely noticed.

No such disregard here. The team that David Marsh built and Richard Quick has carried on is easily the most successful in state history, and one of the most remarkable dynasties in the history of college sports. Competitive swimming draws from a tiny and ever-diminishing pool of talent (no pun intended), and the ability of Marsh and Quick to recruit and coach to this level of dominance for over a decade is flat-out astonishing.

It's even more surprising when you compare the resources at Auburn compared to AU's competitors in the sport, notably Stanford and Texas, the latter of which is probably the richest state school in the nation. Texas spends in excess of $100 million a year on athletics. Stanford isn't exactly poor, either, with an annual athletic budget in the $75 million range.

And little old Auburn, with a sub-$50 million budget and an athletic department that treats the swim team like a redheaded stepchild, just keeps on knocking them out, year after year. Maybe best of all, they do so in an arena where no sportswriter gets a vote, and where the only contribution of computers is in tallying the points.

That's what a real championship looks like, and Auburn has got them in spades.


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jeff said...

Wow, you are getting comments in Chinese now. Way to go international!

Oh, and mucho kudos to the AU men's swim team.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.