Stanford University will eliminate 11 of its 36 varsity sports at the conclusion of the 2020-2021 academic year, citing the cost of running the programs. The university had offered more varsity sports than most other Division 1 institutions. The sports that will be cut at the end of the upcoming academic year are men’s and women’s fencing, field hockey, lightweight rowing, men’s rowing, co-ed and women’s sailing, squash, synchronized swimming, men’s volleyball, and wrestling. Stanford has won the NCAA Director’s Cup, awarded to the school with the best performance across all NCAA sports, for 25 years running, but eliminating nearly a dozen varsity sports may endanger that success. The sports will be allowed to continue at the university as clubs in subsequent years. A statement put out by the university stated that the cost of running a large athletics department had caused a structural deficit that was exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.
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