Once the 2020-2021 school year subsides, Stanford plans to cut 11 of their 36 varsity sports. This decision came earlier this week in an attempt to reduce the programs and staffing.
What sports will be seeing their last season? The 11 sports cut include men’s and women’s fencing, field hockey, lightweight rowing, men’s rowing, co-ed and men’s sailing, squash, synchronized swimming, men’s volleyball, and wrestling.
All these teams will have the chance to compete this upcoming year, given the circumstances of COVID-19 allow it.
Stanford University announced Wednesday the reduction of varsity athletics programs and staffing. https://t.co/hvZWxzEMRM
— Stanford Athletics (@GoStanford) July 8, 2020
The financial realities of COVID-19 played a big part in the decision. Athletic Director Bernard Muir who was a Buchholz High graduate, along with the President of the University chose to eliminate these programs. The California college will still play many of their sports at the national level.
Two other factors included in this choice were the history of the sport at Stanford and its projected future success. The 11 sports cut have a combined 20 national championships, and a total of 27 Olympic medals. Other factors included fan interest, sponsorship of the sport, and Title IX impact.
Impact on athletes
With respect to diversity and gender equity, elimination may increase a lack of inclusion. However, the university has placed a high emphasis on diversity and inclusion among all its sports programs. This setback will not affect that.
News: Stanford is dropping 11 varsity sports at end of 2020-21 — men’s and women’s fencing, field hockey, lightweight rowing, men’s rowing, coed and women’s sailing, squash, men’s volleyball, wrestling and synchronized swimming. Ugh.
— Pat Forde (@ByPatForde) July 8, 2020
240 athletes as well as 22 coaches will be directly affected. Athletes scholarships will be honored for the rest of their time on the Farm. For coaches, their contracts will be honored. Any associate staff members will be offered severance pay as well.
Even though these teams will no longer compete at a national level, the may transition to club level. With enough student-interest and sufficient finances, these athletes will still get to play at some level.