Stanford Athletic Director and Buchholz High School graduate Bernard Muir joined the Sportscene with Steve Russell earlier this week to discuss a wide range of topics.
Muir is in a unique position to give insight into the crazy times and tough decisions that face programs across the NCAA.
Muir started his career in college sports as an intern at Butler University. After earning his big break as athletic director at Georgetown in 2005, Muir would later run Delaware’s athletic program.
In 2012, Muir was named Stanford’s Jaquish & Kenninger Director of Athletics.
In his eight-year run at the helm for the Cardinal, Stanford has been on a mythical run of success.
According to the Stanford University athletics page, “in 2018-19, the Cardinal claimed its 25th-straight Learfield IMG College Directors’ Cup, presented to the most successful intercollegiate athletic department in the nation. Stanford has also won at least one NCAA team championship in each of the last 44 academic seasons, the longest such streak in the country.”
COVID-19 has really hurt the pockets of all departments of a university. However, the loss of media revenue and ticket sales has hit the athletic departments especially hard. For Stanford, which ran 36 varsity sports, the financial burden was too great.
Stanford announced they were cutting 11 varsity sports due to financial setbacks caused by the coronavirus. The sports being cut are 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.
Muir discussed some of the thinking that went into the decision with Russell.
The Stanford Cardinal athletic program is widely regarded as a gold standard across the NCAA. While other schools have cut programs and instituted budget cuts, none have been as severe and high-profile as Stanford.