Minnesota announces elimination of four sports programs
The University of Minnesota will be cutting four sports as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the school announced on Thursday.
Because of an estimated $75 million in lost revenue for the fiscal year, Minnesota has announced that it will no longer sponsor four athletic programs. Those sports are:
- Men’s tennis
- Men’s gymnastics
- Men’s indoor track and field
- Men’s outdoor track and field
All four programs will be permitted to compete through their 2020-21 competitive seasons before they are eliminated from the athletic department. The decision still needs approval from the University of Minnesota Board of Regents.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the Big Ten’s decision to postpone fall 2020-21 sports has greatly increased the financial concerns. Our athletic department is now facing a projected loss of revenue of approximately $75 million just this fiscal year. This is a significant deficit and one that will have an impact for years to come. At the same time, we remain steadfast in our commitment to provide Title IX gender-equitable participation opportunities that are closely aligned with our male and female undergraduate enrollment percentages. We are mindful that our sport programs have worked to adjust their participation opportunities to keep pace with our growing female undergraduate population percentages.
As a result, we have determined that Athletics is no longer able to financially or equitably sustain 25 varsity programs, and pending approval of the Board of Regents, we will discontinue men’s indoor track and field, men’s outdoor track and field, men’s gymnastics and men’s tennis at the completion of their 2020-21 competition season. Should health and safety precautions allow, these teams will have the opportunity to compete during the 2020-21 season.
In addition to the positions eliminated because of the discontinuation of the four sports programs, Minnesota says eight additional positions will be cut.