University leaders consider cutting another sport
April 1, 2015
A year after the UW-River Falls swimming and diving team was cut, the university is going through a similar situation with the possibility of women’s golf or tennis being cut from UWRF.
After Gov. Scott Walker proposed his $300 million UW System budget cut, which will take away approximately $4.9 million from UWRF, the university is forced to look into cutting things as efficiently as possible. The participation numbers in tennis and golf are low, which make them the easier to cut because it wont affect as many people.
Student Senate President Tony Sumnicht is involved with some of the ideas to help reduce the budget at UWRF and showed some insight about what the budget cut may do to the university.
“There is some general concern among the university that there is a perception that there is not going to be the same university next year, but we are making cuts strategically and we are trying to have as little impact as possible on academic programs," Sumnicht said. “The priority is to protect the academics, at a Div. III school most students come for academics and not the athletics.”
The idea to cut a women’s sport was just brought into discussion last week, and the athletic department is yet to release a statement on the matter so it did not comment.
Sumnicht said that the wheels are turning to cut a sport and was expecting some sort of statement in the coming weeks.
“They’re in the process of eliminating a sport. It is something that is broadly being considered, because the athletic department has not made a recommendation yet,” Sumnicht said. “The decision is ultimately left up the Chancellor and then it’ll be reviewed by a Faculty Senate committee.”
Sumnicht commented and said that cutting a men’s team would not be possible, because the WIAC has a minimum number of sports that must be offered for each gender and UWRF is at the minimum for men’s teams.
Another factor that needs to be considered is Title IX. Title IX rules state that the ratio of men and women athletes participating in sports, needs to be very close to the ratio of men and women students. Golf and tennis both do not have large participation numbers so it will not break Title IX rules if one is cut.
Around the UWRF campus the idea of cutting a women’s sport does not bother most of the students.
“I don’t think it will be a problem if tennis or golf gets cut, I don’t think there are many people who pay attention to them anyway, other than the athletes,” said UWRF student Alex Boyer. “I think it will be interesting to see how UWRF changes next year after they address the new budget.”
This historically large cut will be stretching the university thin next year and Sumnicht hopes that they do a good job addressing it. It will be interesting to see how the university changes in the upcoming months.