Stopping Non-revenue Collegiate Sports Is a Terrible Idea

By Gloria Coleman

Most sports were shut down in March, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of them have since reopened, with restrictions and variations to how they are normally played. However, there are also a few sports that are looking to be shut down for good, specifically varsity sports.  

For Michigan State, this felt close to home when they announced that their swim and dive program will be discontinued after the 2020 season. This decision is due to the school losing tons of money in their athletics department. In their opinion, swimming would be the easiest program to cut, considering the last time they won a Big Ten swimming title was in 2001.

The problem is, this is not the only swimming program to be cut recently. 

Swim programs cut

When William and Mary announced that they would also be cutting their Division 1 swim team, they became the sixth D1 to announce such a decision since the start of COVID-19. Boise State slammed many student-athletes with the news that they were not only discontinuing their swim and dive program but also their baseball team

Stanford’s decision to cut nine Olympic sports from its athletics department was also unexpected. This decision was made due to the rapidly growing money deficit that the sports department has accumulated. More than 250 student-athletes were affected by the cuts at Stanford alone. 

Due to all this, many people are concerned that swimming and other Olympic sports will become obsolete in the coming years. Sports are a big part of most people’s lives; to have them taken away slowly is something that people should not have to deal with, especially in 2020. 

Sports are being taken away from both athletes and fans. While for some people this is not that big of a deal, for others this is their heritage. Families with generations of people participating in a sport at the same school are being abruptly stopped. 

Stop cutting sports

Swimming programs should not be the victims here. They are non-revenue sports, which means that they do not make money for competing. There is no paying to get into the sport, but it costs a lot. The athletes compete for their own enjoyment, and taking this away from them is not right. 

Will there be no sports left in 50 years? At the rate that collegiate sports have been closed this year, this looks like the case. Sports are being taken away from the people, not only the athletes but also the fans and the families. Without collegiate sports, no one will be interested in competing professionally, which will also affect major events, such as nationals and even the Olympics. 

The Michigan State Swim and Dive team has created a public instagram page, called Battle for Spartan Swim and Dive, hoping to garner enough attention to stop the removal of their sport. They appreciate all the support they can receive.

Sports need to stop being cut from schools, especially non-revenue sports. With the proper means and decisions, the budget deficits can be overcome and the sports can remain for everyone to enjoy.