Stanford has reversed its plan to eliminate 11 varsity sports programs following the 2020–21 athletic season, according to the San Francisco Chronicle's Ann Killion.
The university announced its plan to eliminate 11 sports—including men's and women's fencing, field hockey and men's volleyball—in July 2020. Stanford stated the decision was reached in order to "create fiscal stability for Stanford Athletics."
"Providing 36 varsity teams with the level of support that they deserve has become a serious and growing financial challenge," Stanford said in a statement. "We now face the reality that significant change is needed to create fiscal stability for Stanford Athletics, and to provide the support we believe is essential for our student-athletes to excel.
"This is heartbreaking news to share. These 11 programs consist of more than 240 incredible student-athletes and 22 dedicated coaches. They were built by more than 4,000 alumni whose contributions led to 20 national championships, 27 Olympic medals, and an untold number of academic and professional achievements. Each of the individuals associated with these programs will forever have a place in Stanford’s history."
Stanford's decision was met with swift backlash. A pair of lawsuits were filed against the university last week, with the suits brought by athletes on the potentially eliminated teams. It's unclear whether those lawsuits will continue following Tuesday's decision, per the Chronicle.
Stanford is slated to sponsor 36 varsity teams in 2021–22. A formal announcement on the reversed decision is expected to arrive on Tuesday afternoon.
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