Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Arizona State budget issues lead to cuts

In an effort to fully fund and support its student-athletes and sports teams, ASU has decided to cut three sports: men's tennis, wrestling, and swimming. ASU had been carrying 22 sports--quite a few for a big-time DI program. Now they are down to 20 (they are keeping men's diving which had been combined with the swim team). The decision seemed swift and firm--probably a good thing in stemming backlash--though signs indicate that an uproar is inevitable. The VP of Athletics decided that cutting teams was preferable to taking away bits and pieces from all teams. No one has ruled out the possibility of the cut teams raising enough money for endowments but in an effort to be fair to student-athletes and give them an opportunity to transfer, the department opted to announce the cuts before fundraising began.
No one at ASU has mentioned Title IX. And rightly so. But members of the local wrestling community have already spoken out and blamed Title IX.
Said one wrestling booster who was particularly irate because he had hoped that ASU would never use Title IX as an excuse to cut wrestling (they haven't, by the way), "all these schools have a book on how to drop sports."
I wonder if that book includes instructions on how to deal with all the anti-Title IX backlash.