BSC set 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 search is already under way for the college's first swimming and diving coach. 

"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 that 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.  "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.  In return, Birmingham-Southern furthers enriches the educational experience for all its students, and provides these young men and women opportunities 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 men's and women's basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, tennis, and indoor and outdoor track and field, and baseball, football, softball, and volleyball.