Earlier this week, a major program from the Pac-12 made the unfortunate decision to cut several sports in the wake of the pandemic.
Stanford announced it’s cutting 11 sports for the 2020-21 academic year. Men’s and women’s fencing, field hockey, lightweight rowing, men’s rowing, co-ed and women’s sailing, squash, synchronized swimming, men’s volleyball, and wrestling are the 11 sports.
Not long after the announcement was made, players from each respective sport made their voices heard. Perhaps the most heartbreaking one came from star wrestler Gabriel Townsell.
“I’m sick to my stomach g. Stanford really just cut wrestling,” he said.
I’m sick to my stomach g. Stanford really just cut wrestling.
— gabriel townsell (@TheBlackCard133) July 8, 2020
“They can still compete this coming season if there is one, but this should not be those young men’s last season at Stanford. I can’t let it stay that way,” he continued on Twitter.
Townsell is a three-time NCAA qualifier for the Cardinal and one of the best wrestlers in the program.
Stanford is one of the wealthiest schools in the country, which complicates its decision to cut so many sports. The school has an endowment of nearly $30 billion, but still decided cutting 11 sports was the necessary move.
Athletes like Townsell will have to pay for that decision. It’s a tough break for the senior athletes, who might not have the opportunity to play again.
Just hours after Stanford’s announcement, the Ivy League announced all fall sports have been canceled for the upcoming season.