Gopher Athletics Cutting Men’s Tennis, Men’s Track and Field, and Men’s Gymnastics
Gopher Athletics announced today that they will discontinue men's indoor and outdoor track and field, men's tennis, and men's gymnastics after the 2020-2021 season.
Gopher Athletics has carried 25 varsity sports for year, which is the fourth most in the Big Ten, on just the eighth largest budget. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Big Ten's decision to postpone fall 2020-21 sports, the Gopher Athletic department determined that they would no longer be able to continue to sponsor 25 sports.
According to a release from the Unversity of Minnesota's President Joan Gabel and Director of Athletics Mark Coyle, the Athletics Department made the decision to discontinue men's indoor track and field, men's outdoor track and field, men's gymnastics, and men's tennis.
"The COVID-19 pandemic and the Big Ten’s decision to postpone fall 2020-21 sports has greatly increased the financial concerns. Our athletic department is now facing a projected loss of revenue of approximately $75 million just this fiscal year. This is a significant deficit and one that will have an impact for years to come. At the same time, we remain steadfast in our commitment to provide Title IX gender-equitable participation opportunities that are closely aligned with our male and female undergraduate enrollment percentages. We are mindful that our sport programs have worked to adjust their participation opportunities to keep pace with our growing female undergraduate population percentages.
As a result, we have determined that Athletics is no longer able to financially or equitably sustain 25 varsity programs, and pending approval of the Board of Regents, we will discontinue men’s indoor track and field, men’s outdoor track and field, men’s gymnastics and men’s tennis at the completion of their 2020-21 competition season. Should health and safety precautions allow, these teams will have the opportunity to compete during the 2020-21 season."
In a letter released to the Gopher Athletics Community, it was noted that these sports would have the opportunity to compete in the 2020-21 season if there is one. In the addition to dropping the sports, the University of Minnesota also implemented a "Personal Cost-Reduction Plan" which is available in the full letter that the University sent out to the Gopher Athletics Community