Colleges begin to cut sports teams

COVID-19 takes its toll on athletic departments around the nation

With the emergence of the COVID-19, many collegiate sports have been cut due to the lack of funds. According to the Associated Press, more than 100 athletic teams, including 51 Division I programs, have been cut. 

The sports that bring in the most money such as football and basketball — even though their seasons may not be played, depending on the school — are not the sports getting cut. However other sports, such as baseball or soccer, are. With the uncertainty facing college sports at every level, sports that don’t rake in decent profits are in danger. 

The University of Cincinnati recently cut their Division I men’s soccer program.

“I mean, I always knew that soccer wasn’t an income sport,” striker for the University of Cincinnati’s men’s soccer team Sam Robinson said in an interview with Insider. “We didn’t make any money for the school. But that was kind of just the way it is in the men’s soccer in general, so that didn’t really concern me.”

Despite discontinuing the men’s soccer team, the University of Cincinnati vowed to honor the current players’ scholarships for the duration of their time in university. Administrators also allowed players to transfer to other schools without penalty. 

“They may not fully understand this decision, but I want them to know they were truly and conscientiously considered during my deliberations about the future of UC Athletics. We are making this decision now to enable our men’s soccer student-athletes to have an opportunity to play at another institution if they choose to do so,” athletic director for the University of Cincinnati John Cunningham said in a public press release

The Pac-12 and Big Ten suspended all athletics activities until the end of the calendar year. Due to the huge financial hit taken from not having a football season — large schools bring in well over $100 million from their football program —  schools are having to cut sports teams. Stanford, for example, had to cut eleven teams, including men’s volleyball, wrestling, field hockey, men’s and women’s fencing and many more. 

For Oak Park students planning to play sports in college there may be fewer options as far as their college futures in athletics. Additionally, while not all teams are getting cut by any means, budgets for many programs have been slashed. Teams further away from Oak Park may have smaller recruiting budgets, fewer scholarships to offer, etc.

“To me, it’s really frightening,” junior and Oak Park soccer player Noah Teichner said. “As someone who wants to play soccer in college, to know that some of these programs might not exist entirely is a scary thought.”