Colleges cut sports programs due to COVID-19 pandemic
The NCAA canceled all winter and spring sports 10 weeks ago, including the men’s and women’s March Madness tournament — a huge hit to the pockets of the collegiate athletic organization.And with no revenue coming in through the spring months, colleges and universities are scrambling to get the fall sports season up and running, despite schools not wanting to send student-athletes back on the field without opening the rest of its campuses.
Should fall sports not return action, in particular football — the biggest money-maker for the NCAA and schools, the budgets for athletic departments across the country will take a major hit.
The harsh truth of the situation is the coronavirus pandemic has already forced athletic administrators to make tough decisions as it pertains to their athletic programs.
According to an NJ.com report from Mike Rosenstein, eight schools have at least discussed trimming their athletic programs, if not outright eliminating them.
As of Wednesday, May 20, Furman has announced its discontinuation of both its baseball and men’s lacrosse programs. The University of Cincinnati eliminated its men’s soccer program. Bowling Green will no longer offer baseball while Old Dominion gave its wrestling program the ax. Akron trimmed three programs from the campus — men’s cross country, men’s golf, and women’s tennis. Florida International is getting rid of both its men’s and women’s indoor track and field program. University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is suspending both men’s and women’s tennis while The Charlotte Observer reports East Carolina is “looking to trim at least one of 20 sports.”
Additionally, the Mid-American Conference (MAC) announced earlier this week changes to its postseason tournaments for 17 sports — eliminating conference tournament championships for eight sports. A report from MLive.com stated that sports like field hockey, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s tennis, women’s lacrosse, softball, and baseball will forgo the postseason conference tournaments and champions will be based on regular-season league records.
To read the full story from NJ.com and to find out more about how the COVID-19 pandemic is effecting the NCAA landscape, click here.