The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t hit Clemson University’s financials as hard as expected, causing the athletic department to reinstate several programs that had been slated to be eliminated in June.
The athletic department announced Thursday that it will continue to have varsity men’s outdoor and indoor track and field and cross country programs, all of which the university announced last November would be cut to “provide the department with both substantial cost savings as well as the ability for long-term Title IX compliance.”
The university announced Thursday that it will instead improve its compliance by “adding one or more women’s varsity sports in its continuing commitment to gender equity and to supporting our female students’ championship aspirations.”
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“This is the right decision for our University, our Department of Athletics and, most importantly, for the young men and women who proudly wear the Clemson uniform,” Clemson president Jim Clements said. “I am thrilled that we are able to continue these men’s programs and I am excited for the new varsity opportunities we will soon be adding for our female student-athletes.”
The new sports will be announced later, while Clemson’s release said Thursday’s announcement was based on revised financial projections that showed “the impacts of COVID-19, while significant, did not harm the University in as drastic a way as anticipated.”
The release noted that fundraising helped the financial situation, as did state and federal support.
“I am appreciative of the support of the University and our collaboration that will allow us to not only maintain our current sports portfolio but add to it in the very near future,” Clemson director of athletics Dan Radakovich said. “As we communicated previously, the original decision was difficult, and we did what was necessary at the time to maintain compliance with gender equity while addressing our financial situation. I am excited about the future of Clemson Athletics and for our student-athletes.”
The original announcement to cut the programs said that the university was projecting a resource shortfall of $25 million during this fiscal year, while the cuts were expected to save more than $2 million per year.
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