MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Emotional students left Halenbeck Hall gymnasium Tuesday afternoon after learning that their sports teams were cut from the St. Cloud State athletic program.
“To us, as athletes, I think they just owed us more respect,” Alexa Owen said.
Sophomores Madi Eurich and Alexa Owen are on the women’s golf team, which was one of the three teams cut Tuesday.
“Thankfully we do get to finish off the spring season which will be kind of tough for us as a team because we’ve all grown so much the past two years but we’ll finish off the season as strong as we can,” Madi Eurich said.
Football and men’s golf were also cut. Impacting a total of 115 students and 9 coaches.
“This is a very difficult decision that needed to be made to our collegiate athletic programs,” Adam Hammer, spokesperson for SCSU said.
Hammer says this decision was made to comply with a gender equity lawsuit that was won back in August 2019, which is having a larger budget to provide more athletic opportunities to women.
In order to do that, the university chose to cut football because it’s one of the most expensive men’s sports with the largest roster and golf because it’s one of the least competitive with the shortest season due to Minnesota weather.
“We’re doing everything to make sure they have the opportunities that they need going forward so whether that’s transferring to a different school we’re working with them,” Hammer added.
The Husky stadium will now be used for women’s soccer games as well as the men’s soccer games, which they are adding to their athletic programs for the first time in fall 2020.
But students think the cuts are just a temporary fix to a growing $1.6 million deficit the university is trying to overcome.
“In the grand scheme of things, we’re in debt and we’re going to be in debt for a long time and cutting a football team and two golf teams is not gonna help the school whatsoever,” Eurich said.