Eastern Michigan Will Cut 4 Varsity Sports

March 21, 2018

Eastern Michigan University announced Tuesday that it is eliminating four varsity sports, bringing its total number down to 17. The teams being eliminated are softball, men’s swimming and diving, women’s tennis, and wrestling. Cutting those teams will save $2.4 million and will eliminate intercollegiate athletic spots for 58 men and 25 women. The university said that it needed to align its athletic budget with overall finances.

The faculty union at Eastern Michigan criticized the move for ignoring the high costs of football.

Judith Kullberg, professor of political science at Eastern Michigan University and president of the campus chapter of the American Association of University Professors, issued a statement that said, "It’s about time that Eastern Michigan University administrators took a hard look at the money we spend on athletics. But today’s announcement to cut four sports is the wrong call … EMU administrators have cut back on course offerings, laid off staff, left positions unfilled, and outsourced essential student services. In this environment, it’s not sustainable for EMU to spend more than $20 million a year from its own funds to subsidize football and other NCAA Division I sports teams."

The Detroit Free Press reported that many students agree with the faculty criticism. Further, the newspaper reported that the athletics director had, in preparing cuts, been ordered by the university's board and president to maintain the football program and three other sports.

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