Cutting Sports Programs 'Not a Consideration' For State

Brett Friedlander

Appalachian State announced Tuesday that it is eliminating its men's soccer, men's tennis and men's track programs as a cost-cutting measure to offset financial losses caused, in part, by the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

The move comes less than a week after East Carolina dropped its men's and women's tennis and swim teams and Furman did away with its baseball and lacrosse teams.

In all, 10 colleges across the country have cut 19 sports programs since the NCAA halted all athletic activities on March 12. 

It's a trend that for at least now, is limited to Group of Five schools. But the longer the  shutdown lingers, especially if it continues into the fall, the greater the chance that some Power Five members might also be affected.

To this point, though, NC State is not in danger of losing any of the 22 sports programs it currently offers.

"Eliminating sports is not a consideration at the current time," athletic department spokesman Fred Demarest said Tuesday.

While teams representing the Wolfpack appear safe from the purge, at least for the time being, some could still be affected when it comes to scheduling -- especially if the list of schools eliminating soccer, track, swimming and tennis continues to grow and the number of cost-effective nonconference opponents continues to shrink.

"A nunber of our programs are moving more towards regional scheduling for nonconference competition, so there has been a modest impact in options," Demerest said. "We are geographically fortunate in this area, however. There are still a high number options available."

In addition to App State, ECU and Furman, the list of schools that have been cut includes Cincinnati (men's soccer), Old Dominion (wrestling), Bowling Green (baseball), Akron (men's cross country, men's golf and women's tennis), Central Michigan (men's and women's track) and Florida International (men's track).

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