Over 50 NCAA Division 1 Programs Have Been Cut in 2020
As of Friday, July 11, 20 separate NCAA schools that participate in Division I athletics have completely cut funding for a total of 56 programs. This includes 31 men’s and 25 women’s sports as it affects over 900 college athletes in the United States. Across all three divisions in the NCAA, these sweeping cuts reach 170 programs in total.
These changes are apart of the most recent strategy to mitigate the financial burdens placed on institutions by the prolific COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the complete cancelation of spring sports and the possibility of losing fall athletics as well, universities across the country are trying to figure out a plan to keep their athletics departments profitable. This doesn’t necessarily mean that these programs will be gone forever, but due to the financial crisis caused by the outbreak of COVID-19, it’s reasonable to assume that we won’t have them for the foreseeable future.
According to Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger, the cuts seen to D1 sports in 2020 is the largest cancellation seen in over a decade. Some of the most notable funding restrictions come from institutions such as the University of Connecticut, East Carolina University, Boise State University, and the Pac-12 powerhouse Stanford University. The Stanford Cardinal have canceled 11 of their D1 teams in 2020, leading the pack for the most cuts in the NCAA.
Currently, no schools in the SEC have removed any programs in the latest round of cancelations throughout the NCAA; however, if fall athletics are suspended and there is no more NCAA competition in 2020, it is very possible that we could see more major cancelations through the rest of this year and into 2021.
Division I programs in the state of Alabama have all been safe up to this point, but the athletics department at Division II University of Alabama in Huntsville have decided to indefinitely suspend their men’s and women’s tennis program. By the numbers, tennis is the hardest hit program across all three divisions of NCAA competition. Of the 170 canceled sports at institutions, 40 of these cases have been either men’s or women’s tennis.
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