Profile: Jayma Meyer, Member, SPEA Dean's Council

A fence once stood between Jayma Meyer and her dreams.

Meyer was six, growing up near Bryan Park in Bloomington. The park pool was then the home of Doc Councilman’s powerhouse IU men’s swim team. There was no team for women.

“I remember spending hours standing outside that fence, watching the men train,” she says. “I wanted what those guys had – the dedication to a team where they excelled and had a blast while engaging in incredibly hard work.”

Meyer started swimming. As a teenager, she was breaking state and national records in the butterfly. There was no high school team for girls.

Meyer went to Florida, trained with a top coach, and prepared for the 1972 Olympics in Munich. At one point she was the ninth fastest in the world at her event. Sidelined by an injury, she just missed making the U.S. team. Instead of becoming an Olympian, she became a Hoosier, enrolling at IU and watching the games on TV. “I was disappointed and, quite frankly, in a funk,” she says. “I watched my friends compete, some of whom were swimmers at IU. Of course, they were men.” There was still no team at IU for women.

A young Jayma Meyer swims the breast stroke in a newspaper photo.

Jayma Meyer with NCAA President Mark Emmert, discussing the future of college athletics on campus this spring.