With every school in America turned to online learning because of the current Covid-19 pandemic, schools also need to make budget cuts now. The University of Cincinnati becomes the first school to take these budget cuts towards their sports programs as of Tuesday the 14th when John Cunniungham, their Director of Athletics announced that “UC Athletics will no longer sponsor a men’s soccer program.”
One of the major reasons for the dissolving of the program is that in recent years the team has not been the talk of the town. Last season the Bearcats went 5-11-1 and in the history of the program have only gone 385-408-84. The team was also in search of a new head coach as Justin Ferguson, their head coach resigned on March 13th, after the season. According to ESPN reporter Mark Schlabach the team has also not been providing funds for the school as the program has lost $726,498 after the University spent $68.8 million on all athletics for the year.
This came as a huge surprise to all of the players on the team as no one saw this coming. Scott Springer of the Cincinnati Enquirer was able to talk with some of the players after they had heard the news and had this to say “We had no idea it was coming” said sophomore Will Lonneman and another sophomore Ben Wendell stated “When he said they were going to defund the program, I thought it was in terms of gear or other things. I had no idea this was going to happen at all.”
The school stated that this was one of the last things that they had to end up doing, but with the pandemic and budget cuts there was no way around it. The school is going to keep scholarships for all of their student athletes for the rest of their academic career as they are also going to help them look for a new place to play if they are still interested in continuing their collegiate soccer careers.
Another main reason for their decision is that it is uncertain when College athletics will return to play. Without the sports playing it is impossible for schools to make money off of the programs and with the NCAA cancelling all winter and spring championships for the 2020 season and with the possibility of college football not being played it just makes financial sense for these schools. University of Cincinnati might have been the first school to pull the trigger on some of their athletic programs, but they won’t be the last to fall, especially the ones that don’t make money for the schools.