Fallout: Iowa cancels additional sports programs due to canceling football
The numbers may vary program to program, but at almost every major college athletic department football pays the bills. With no college football season in the Big Ten this fall, athletic departments are being faced with difficult decisions. On Friday, Iowa President Bruce Harreld and Director of Athletics Gary Barta shared an open letter announcing that 4 varsity sports – men’s gymnastics, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, and men’s tennis – will be discontinued at the end of the 2020-21 (fall to spring) athletic season. Without fall sports, Iowa is looking at a significant loss in revenue.
“With the Big Ten Conference’s postponement of fall competition on Aug. 11, University of Iowa Athletics now projects lost revenue of approximately $100 million and an overall deficit between $60-75 million this fiscal year,” the open letter reads. “A loss of this magnitude will take years to overcome. We have a plan to recover, but the journey will be challenging.”
The open letter sadly notes that those programs might not even get a final season depending on the coronavirus pandemic.
“Each of these teams will have the opportunity to compete in their upcoming 2020-21 seasons, should the circumstances surrounding COVID-19 permit, before they are discontinued at the varsity level,” the letter states.
Perhaps the only silver lining in the letter is that all existing scholarships will be honored through graduation for those student-athletes who choose to remain at Iowa. Coaches contracts will also be honored.
The full letter can be read here.