Stanford to Cut 11 Varsity Sports at End of Academic Year


Stanford University, one of the richest U.S. colleges, is cutting 11 varsity sports teams at the end of the 2020-2021 academic year in an effort to “create fiscal stability.”

The teams are men’s and women’s fencing, field hockey, lightweight rowing, men’s rowing, co-ed and women’s sailing, squash, synchronized swimming, and men’s volleyball and wrestling, according to a statement Wednesday by the school’s president, Marc Tessier-Lavigne, provost Persis Drell and Bernard Muir, director of athletics.

“As you may know, Stanford currently offers more varsity sports than nearly every other Division I university in the nation,” they said. “Over time, however, providing 36 varsity teams with the level of support that they deserve has become a serious and growing financial challenge.”

Colleges across the U.S. have been making changes to their sports programs, including cutting teams, because of revenue losses from the economic impact of coronavirus. Stanford said it wanted to confront the financial challenge associated with athletics -- which arose prior to the pandemic -- before it worsened. The school said 20 support staff positions are being eliminated.

The 11 programs consist of more than 240 students and 22 coaches. Their alumni won 20 national championships and 27 Olympic medals.

“This is heartbreaking news to share,” the university officials said.

Brown University in May announced it was is revamping its sports program and cutting some varsity teams, as the school sought to contend with earning just 2.8% of titles in the Ivy League over the last decade.

Brown said it planned to reduce the teams to 29 from 38, but in June said it would reinstate the varsity status of its men’s track, field and cross country teams.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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