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    • Stanford University announced that they are cutting 11 varsity sports due to finances: 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. 

      In their announcement, the university says they are heartbroken about this and that they are compelled to do so for financial reasons. I find this hard to believe given that Stanford has a $27.7 billion endowment. I understand that not every school can have 36 varsity sports and that outside of men’s basketball and football, most sports barely break even if at all, but given all the money that they have, I would think Stanford could easily afford it. 

      My guess is Stanford just doesn’t want to put money into sports that nobody cares about. Take men’s volleyball for example: That’s a sport that honestly should belong at the club level like it does at most schools. There’s not enough interest nationwide in men’s volleyball. Stanford citing finances is just a way to save face for what’s really going on. It’s almost laughable when you look at the endowment. Thoughts?

    • There is a petition started yesterday that already has over 7,000 signatures:

      What about preparing their athletes to represent Stanford in the Olympics? Isn’t that a vanity metric of interest to alumni?

      Here are the all-time results of the NACDA Director’s Cup, the contest where they tally up how schools perform in all combined varsity sports each year:

    • Yeah, Stanford takes great pride in dominating the Director’s Cup. Maybe some alumni with fat pocketbooks will shell out enough money to keep it going. Thanks for the update on the petition.

    • One prognosticator at Sports Illustrated believes that Stanford is giving cover to other universities’s future cuts to their own sports programs:

      An anonymous Power 5 athletic director told me in early April that if there is no football season, “We’re all f-----. There’s no other way to look at it, is there?” Three months later, those words land with increased weight.

      Taken collectively, the college news of the day leaves this conclusion: We all knew COVID-19 is wreaking havoc upon athletics, and now we’re seeing how bad it can get.

      Already, 56 varsity programs have been dropped this year at the NCAA Division I level. And a lot of schools are holding out hope for football to save them from adding more to that pyre. If Stanford, with all its success and willingness to try to be great at everything, is swinging a heavy blade, that could provide cover for dozens of other schools.

      What do you think will happen in the near and long-term for college sports, @slamdunk406?

      Further Reading

    • I think a lot of schools (Cal for example) have been thinking about cuts for a long time. As I said, the only two sports that generate revenue are football and men's basketball. The only other sports that seem to generate any decent fan support are women's basketball and baseball, but neither of those sports generate revenue. At best they break even. At least at most schools. There are some exceptions like UConn women's basketball and I think Stanford's women's basketball team does pretty well financially.

      But, I think the pandemic is a convenient excuse. These schools want to cut some sports back and this is giving them an excuse to do so. In the case of Stanford, the sports that they are cutting, like men's volleyball, aren't played everywhere. Cal for example, has no men's volleyball program. BYU has it at the club level. So, I also think that some of these sports honestly are better off at the club level than being at a level where they dish out scholarships to play the sport.

      As far as college football and college hoops are concerned, the two money making sports, I think there are really good odds college football is played in the spring and I think college hoops will be played in the spring as well. For college basketball, all they need to do is cut out non-conference games and play a full conference schedule starting in January.

      As a matter of fact, at last year's Pac-12 Media Day, commissioner Larry Scott talked about the prospect of moving college hoops to a spring semester sport only. Just because it doesn't generate many eyeballs in the fall and plus, it's kinda stressful having guys compete when they have finals and all that jazz.

      Provided it goes smoothly in the spring semester, maybe this will be the beginning of college hoops being a one semester only sport in the spring with an NCAA tournament that ends in May. That could be where we are heading in the future. But as it stands, lots of unknowns here.