MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Although the Big Ten announced that college football is coming back this fall, the University of Minnesota says that doesn’t change its proposal to cut four sports programs.
University officials say that the school is still facing significant financial losses stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. That means proposed cuts remain for men’s gymnastics, men’s tennis, and men’s indoor and outdoor track and field.
The proposed cuts were announced last week and they’re slated to take effect next year, pending approval by the Board of Regents.
Initially, the university said the decision came after the Big Ten Conference postponed all fall sports, including football. Officials said the U of M could not sustain 25 varsity programs as the financial losses this year will likely impact the university for years to come.
Even though the university will see an uptick in revenue now that the Big Ten has reversed course on football, Gopher officials say it won’t be enough to offset the financial losses, as the fall football season will be shorter and there will not be ticket sales.
Student-athletes marched across campus Wednesday afternoon in protest. They want the board of regents to consider other options.
Mike Herauf, a junior red shirt on the track and field team, spoke with WCCO about his worries for the future of collegiate sports.
“It doesn’t only affect the University of Minnesota. We’re afraid that other administrations, other universities will follow suit. And we’re standing for everybody across the nation,” Herauf said.
The board is scheduled to vote on the proposal in early October.