Why Cutting College Sports Programs Is A Bad Idea – Especially Now

"The sports media has been covering announcements of colleges and universities dropping sports, especially since the advent of the Covid-19 epidemic. However, the public does not realize that higher education institutions drop and add sports on a regular basis every year and that these program changes vary by competitive division. Since March, only 48 or four percent of the NCAA’s 1,091 member institutions dropped sports while 31 or three percent added sports. There is no epidemic of dropped sports.

That being said, schools that do drop sports tempt the worst of fates – bad press, angry donors and the threat of lawsuits. Few athletic directors who have presided over the campus and alumni reaction to such decisions, recommend ever doing so again. Every alumnus who ever played the cut sport appears to materialize from the proverbial woodwork to take the institution’s name in vain. Local media begins months long coverage of alumni unhappiness, with every interviewed fan and graduate echoing the common refrain that the institution will not receive another contribution from the outraged. Current and former trustees or members of the Board of Regents, and in the case of public institutions, members of the legislature, are bombarded with calls which in turn generate incredible pressure on the college or university president and athletic director. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests uncover very internal email, text message and document involved in the decision-making process. Among sports with wealthy alumni, come offers to underwrite the sport – although dollars mentioned never approach full endowment of the team for the foreseeable future." …