The loss of fall sports this year in the Big Ten is starting to have a drastic impact on universities. The University of Iowa is the latest school to cut certain athletic programs as a result of revenue loss.
The University of Iowa announced on Friday the school is cutting men's gymnastics, men's and women's swimming and diving and men's tennis. The decision was made as a result of massive revenue loss this year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The University of Iowa announced Friday its plan to discontinue four intercollegiate athletics sports programs at the conclusion of the 2020-21 academic year: men's gymnastics, men's and women's swimming and diving, and men's tennis," the University of Iowa announced on Friday.
University of Iowa president Bruce Harreld and athletic director Gary Barta addressed the decision in an open letter on Friday. The two said the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a "financial exigency."
"The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a financial exigency which threatens our continued ability to adequately support 24 intercollegiate athletics programs at the desired championship level," the letter reads. "With the Big Ten Conference's postponement of fall competition on August 11, UI Athletics now projects lost revenue of approximately $100M and an overall deficit between $60-75M this fiscal year. A loss of this magnitude will take years to overcome."
Fortunately, the student-athletes impacted by Iowa's decision will have their scholarships honored through graduation.
Unfortunately, Iowa will most likely be one of many schools to cut athletic programs.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in catastrophic economic losses across the nation. Universities are the latest victims.