Stanford Explains Decision to Cut 11 Varsity Sports

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Stanford University, home to the most successful athletic department in the nation for more than a quarter-century, announced Wednesday that it will discontinue 11 varsity sports following the 2020-21 academic year.

The affected sports include 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.

In a nearly 2,000-word open letter to the Stanford community and "athletics family," university's president Marc Tessier-Lavigne, provost Persis Drell and director of athletics Bernard Muir wrote that over time providing 36 varsity teams with the level of support that they deserve has become a serious and growing financial challenge. 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."

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