Last week reports surfaced saying that the University of Connecticut was going to cut several sports in June. While the economic pressure caused by the coronavirus pandemic certainly did not help, the university was operating on $40 million deficit for their athletics programs. SI's Pat Forde shares his thoughts on UConn's current situation.
Last week, media reports came out that the University of Connecticut is probably going to be cutting sports in June and maybe not just a couple of sports. A columnist for The Hartford Courant advocated for them to cut eight of their twenty-four programs. The thing is, UConn has been awash in red ink for a long time. This is not just related to a pandemic. They were running a $40 million athletic deficit before the pandemic hit. The problem is this has been an absolute football disaster of a university for darn near a decade, ever since they kind of stumbled into a fortuitous Fiesta Bowl.
The nine years since then, they've been terrible. They have made bad coaching hires, they have agreed to ridiculous contracts. And I want to see the athletic director, David Benedict, on the day in June when he has to stand up there and tell a bunch of sports, "You no longer exist," take the fall for coming up with a contract for football coach Randy Edsall that includes bonuses for scoring first for having a better red zone, scoring percentage for leading at halftime and other completely useless means to put more money in the football coach's wallet.
They built facilities, they got into the arms race when football was never a sustainable, long-term, big time sport at UConn. And now a bunch of athletes and non-revenue sports are going to pay the price for it. We'll see how many, but I feel sorry for those kids, and I hope the athletic administrators and everyone who runs UConn takes the proper fall when it happens.