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Students react after University of Minnesota cuts men's tennis, gymnastics and track and field

Richard Reeve
Updated: September 10, 2020 10:22 PM
Created: September 10, 2020 09:40 PM

Thursday afternoon, the University of Minnesota announced plans to cut a number of men's sports programs as part of a cost-cutting measure.

In Stadium Village, students were absorbing the news that the school’s men’s gymnastics, tennis, and track and field programs.

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"It's certainly disappointing for a lot of people,” says sophomore Ambrose Dukek.

“It’s going to be rough for the athletes (because) I know a lot of them come to the U to compete in these things,” adds Delanna Do, a freshman.

Word of the cuts is yet another shock for a campus already reeling from the pandemic.

Social distancing.

Masks.

And online classes.

Gopher Athletics cutting men's track and field, men's tennis, men's gymnastics

"Now that we're paying essentially $30,000 per year for watching YouTube lectures,” Dukek declares. “Like, is that really worth it?"

Gymnastics, tennis and track aren’t considered revenue-generating sports.

But administrators say the cuts will save millions.

Still, the loss of three more campus sports activities rankles students like Daniel Glynn, a Sophomore.

"Without football, we're missing the other sports as well,” he says. “I feel with cutting different sports, they are cutting out even more of the college experience."

Financial troubles for college’s sports programs has been an issue for years.

In June 2019, the Board of Regents approved alcohol sales at sports events, in hopes of attracting more fans and revenue.

During the 2018-2019 school year, average attendance for football, hockey, and basketball games was at a five year low, with a combined attendance of 56,534.

In the 2015-2016 year, average attendance was 72,428.

And now?

“There are many athletes who are relying on this, this was their future, this was their dream, and it’s been completely disrupted,” Dukek says.

Some point out there’s now simply less to do on campus, with the pandemic threat still out there.

“A lot of the students that want to go out and cheer their friends, and have reasons to leave the house every once in a while are just going to have to find other ways to cope,” Do says.

It’s yet another campus challenge in these pandemic times.

But some are trying to remain positive, echoing the sports cliché ‘there’s always next year.’

“Just keep your heads up, there’s not much you can do,” said Peyton Chapman, a freshman. “But just keep your chin up and stay positive, and just look forward to being able to do it in the future.”


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