SAN FRANCISCO—Stanford University announced on Tuesday, May 18, that it is reversing their decision they made ten months ago to cut almost a third of its athletic programs.
The university’s original plan back in July, 2020, was to cut the following programs in the wake of growing financial struggled caused primarily by the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Men’s and women’s fencing
- Field hockey
- Lightweight rowing
- Men’s rowing
- Co-ed and women’s sailing
- Synchronized swimming
- Men’s volleyball
Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne cited that funding has increased over the past ten months to the point where cutting the programs is no longer necessary.
“We have new optimism based on new circumstances, including vigorous and broad-based philanthropic interest in Stanford Athletics on the part of our alumni, which have convinced us that raising the increased funds necessary to support all 36 of our varsity teams is an approach that can succeed,” he said.
According to Stanford’s news board website, retaining all 36 teams in the 11 programs is still going to require “a large-scale fundraising campaign.”
Stanford faced pressure to make this decision after several of the athletes affected by the proposed cuts filed federal lawsuits against the university. The community also held several protests on their athletic fields where protestors blacked out the school’s name and logo from their clothing.
A notable example of this “black-out” protest was demonstrated by Stanford wrestler Shane Griffith, who won a national championship in an all-black uniform and sported a hoodie that said “Keep Stanford Wrestling” in his post-match interviews.
“The financial challenges facing Stanford Athletics are still very real. But we have new optimism based on new circumstances, including significantly improved fundraising potential in support of our athletics programs and improvement in the financial investment markets,” President Tessier-Lavigne wrote in a statement to the Stanford community.