Stanford University announced on Wednesday that the institution is cutting 11 Varsity sports, including Men's Rowing and Lightweight Women's Rowing. The Stanford Lightweight Women have captured 9 of 10 national championships in the past decade.
The University announced the cuts in an "An open letter to the Stanford community and the Stanford Athletics family," signed by President Marc Tessier-Lavigne, Provost Persis Drell, and AD Bernard Muir.
The Stanford Lightweight Women were regulars on the IRA podium
The school cited the ongoing COVID-19 crisis as well as financial pressures in their decision. "Providing 36 varsity teams with the level of support that they deserve has become a serious and growing financial challenge," the school stated. "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."
The depth of the cuts are made clear by the achievements of the sports that have been cut. "These 11 programs consist of more than 240 incredible student-athletes and 22 dedicated coaches," the Stanford release states. "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."
Per the university, all 11 sports will have the opportunity to transition to Club sports after the 2020-21 academic year.