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'Heartbreaking' but 'imperative': Stanford to cut nearly a third of its varsity sport teams

Original post made on Jul 8, 2020

After the 2020-21 season, Stanford University will discontinue 11 of its 36 varsity sports teams to save money in the face of a growing budget deficit and looming cuts.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, July 8, 2020, 12:15 PM

Comments (13)

Posted by JR
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jul 8, 2020 at 12:52 pm

Stanford, with its $26 billion dollar endowment, was not willing to spend $200 million to “perminantly” sustain these sports teams. What exactly does Stanford plan to use it’s endowment for if not to sustain university programs? It seems like the goal is growing the bank account at all costs. Greed is good.


Posted by Hefty Lefty
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 8, 2020 at 1:21 pm

The only amateurs left in big-time college sports are the athletes themselves.

Over the last several decades big-time college sports have become increasingly professionalized, not because a more professionalized sport builds a better student, and a better adult, but because a more professionalized big-time sport is a winning sport, and a winning sport builds the prestige and name recognition of the institution and its administrators.

How about de-professionalizing college football and basketball and down sizing their budgets to finance these smaller sports that provide an enriching experience for so many student athletes?

Do 100+ man squads, multi-million dollar coaching salaries, and demanding professional practice schedules, really provide a better educational experience for student athletes as a whole, or is this an operational model administrators have built to serve their own ambitions?


Posted by Seriously?
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 8, 2020 at 1:51 pm

Stanford receives so much endowment each year but cannot share with certain sports dept and other basic services like janitorial or cafeteria...... Shame in Stanford.


Posted by Hulkamania
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 8, 2020 at 2:24 pm

Or, Lefty, the football and basketball programs could be expanded to increase income and a percentage would dedicated to fund all of the "other" sports.


Posted by Football fan
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 8, 2020 at 7:19 pm

Does anyone know about refunds for Stanford season football tickets? Wonder what they will do with that...


Posted by Easy 8
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 8, 2020 at 10:10 pm

Lefty: At virtually every university, the ONLY two sports that generate positive revenue are Men's football and Men's basketball. All the other sports lose money, especially when you factor in the cost of scholarships.

Biggest sources of revenue for men's football and men's basketball are ticket sales and enormously lucrative television and sponsorship deals. Forbes notes "College football's 25 most valuable programs combine to earn an average of $1.5 billion in profit on annual revenues of $2.7 billion."

Men's football and Men's basketball literally subsidize all the women's sports and the rest of men's sports. They are the hand that butters the bread.

This Forbes article explains the situation well

Web Link





Posted by Cardinal Disappointment
a resident of Southgate
on Jul 9, 2020 at 10:44 am

So much for being comparable to Ivy League schools. Those schools value the development of their students including participation in competitive sports. Tough times require tough decisions. The Ivy League recently suspended (and likely will cancel) the fall football season. Want to fund the non-revenue sports teams? Be like the Ivy and eliminate athletic scholarships. Sure, this would jeopardize receiving the "winningest" trophy again, but would help allow the funding of the short-listed programs and more properly emphasize the university's educational mission.


Posted by fred
a resident of University South
on Jul 9, 2020 at 11:33 am

Correcting some misconceptions:

Almost all of Stanford’s endowment is restricted to specific academic uses.

Brown in the Ivy League has also cut 11 sports. (Brown is Muir’s alma mater).

Season ticket holders will be able to request refunds if they are not able to attend games. However, if they do so rather than donate, it will explode the deficit to $25 or $50 million.

Stanford football generates less revenue than most other Power 5 schools so it can’t support as many non-revenue sports as other schools.


Posted by dontliveinCA
a resident of another community
on Jul 9, 2020 at 1:24 pm

It's obvious that many folks posting don't understand how the endowment can be used. It is sad these sports had to be cut, but the University is doing the best it can under unprecedented circumstances. I bet other leagues will follow suit.


Posted by Not sad -- they should have cut more
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 9, 2020 at 1:44 pm

I don't think it's sad at all that these sports are being eliminated. The athletic departments at colleges have become the tail wagging the dog. Universities set aside SO MANY spots in their freshman class for athletes and then people of privilege have figured out that the way to get into these universities is through sports. With the exception of football, basketball and track, these slots largely go to the offspring of upper middle class white people. Universities should be focused on academics and excellence in so many other areas than just sports. I'm glad Stanford had the guts to cut sports teams and spend the money on academic excellence instead.


Posted by Riley2
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 9, 2020 at 3:03 pm

Personally, I think de-emphasizing sports at Stanford and comparable institutions is long overdue, and converting many of the teams to club status is a great idea. Several of the Ivies are currently doing just that. This may be disappointing to affluent parents who were counting on fencing, crew, or sailing as backdoor access to admission, but do we really want Stanford to reserve so many precious spots for sports recruits? And to draw down their endowment, as some suggest here, to support that?


Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 5, 2020 at 11:52 am

john_alderman is a registered user.

"Criteria used to select the 11 teams included: [...] impact on gender equity, Title IX compliance and diversity."

Read between the lines, they cut sports that are predominantly white, and middle/upper class. Woke bonus for cutting men's volleyball.

Cut sports: 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.


Posted by MVresident2003
a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 5, 2020 at 10:34 pm

MVresident2003 is a registered user.

When are y’all going to wake up.


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