Universities are cutting 'unprofitable' sports programs


Jerk in a Hawaiian Shirt & SNOWCAT Moderator
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Obviously you all know I'm involved in olympic style fencing so that is the news I follow. It is a money losing sport for universities. No audience ticket sales and no television or broadcast money comes in for fencing. So when schools cut their budgets, fencing is one of those that gets worried.

Today, STANFORD UNIVERSITY announced they are eliminating varsity fencing. There are several other sports being eliminated.

Over in the IVY LEAGUE, last month BROWN UNIVERSITY announced they were eliminating sport fencing and cutting several other sports.

Both schools are top major universities with massive endowments, yet both cite budget issues. I've heard that 1000 colleges and universities may fail due to high costs and low enrollment, exacerbated by COVID. So if big name schools with lots of money are doing this then its a pretty safe bet that small and medium sized schools without the benefit of huge endowments have budget problems that are more than just sports budget problems.

Safe bet ALL schools are looking at this an pretty much anything that doesn't bring in revenue to the schools are going to be considered for the chopping block :hammer:

An open letter to the Stanford community and the Stanford Athletics family
July 8, 2020
Marc Tessier-Lavigne, President
Persis Drell, Provost
Bernard Muir, Director of Athletics

One of Stanford’s great sources of pride is our intercollegiate athletics program. Over the course of our storied history, through innumerable days of challenge, triumph and joy, our student-athletes have set the standard for exceptional achievement in both academics and athletics. Cheering on the Cardinal is an integral part of life at Stanford, and the commitment and dedication of our student-athletes serve as an inspiration for fans and followers well beyond The Farm.

As you may know, Stanford currently offers more varsity sports than nearly every other Division I university in the nation. Our goal is to provide excellent support and a world-class experience for our student-athletes in the sports that we offer. Over time, however, providing 36 varsity teams with the level of support that they deserve has become a serious and growing financial challenge.

We now face the reality that significant change is needed to create fiscal stability for Stanford Athletics, and to provide the support we believe is essential for our student-athletes to excel.

In that context, we are writing today with some extremely difficult news. In consultation with the Board of Trustees, we have made the decision to reduce the breadth of our athletics programs and staffing. Stanford will discontinue 11 of our varsity sports programs at the conclusion of the 2020-21 academic year: men’s and women’s fencing, field hockey, lightweight rowing, men’s rowing, co-ed and women’s sailing, squash, synchronized swimming, men’s volleyball and wrestling. All of these teams will have the opportunity to compete in their upcoming 2020-21 seasons, should the circumstances surrounding COVID-19 allow it, before they are discontinued at the varsity level. Regretfully, 20 of our support staff positions are being eliminated as part of this realignment.

This is heartbreaking news to share. These 11 programs consist of more than 240 incredible student-athletes and 22 dedicated coaches. They were built by more than 4,000 alumni whose contributions led to 20 national championships, 27 Olympic medals, and an untold number of academic and professional achievements.

. . .


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They don't want sports cutting into the pay and bonuses of administration. Heaven forbid!!