May 13, 2008

Taco, Burrito, What's Coming Out Your [Budget]?

Just about a half an hour ago, I got a text message from KTAR telling me that, "ASU is eliminating 3 men's sports - wrestling, swimming, and tennis - to save more than $1 million annually." It's about 6 weeks too late for an April Fool's joke, so i was a little caught off guard that the largest university in the country found it necessary to cut three sports programs for financial reasons. I went scouring to find a complete story - and I found one.

These are the first cuts in programming in fifteen (15) years when, back in 1993, men's gymnastics, archery, and badminton all got the boot. Today's decision was made by Lisa Love, Vice President of Athletics, and backed up by Dr. Crow. Here is Ms. Love's official statement:

"The profile or our operations budget and donation base does not lend itself to the sponsorship of 22 athletic teams. While our revenue streams are achieving a positive trajectory, they are simply not keeping pace with the current size and scope of the department."

Current size and scope of the department? I'm not quite sure that's the fault of the swimmers, wrestlers, or tennis-ers. Pretty sure that these people shouldn't take the fall for mismanagement. All three of these teams can be considered "successful," unlike the department's handling of a recent incident...

Our wrestling team won the NCAA national championship in 1998. Not to mention two of our wrestlers went on to the Olympics ('92 and '96) to win silver medals. And that success wasn't short-lived, either. Just this season, ASU sent a handful of wrestlers to compete at the national championships. Our men's tennis team had an amazing season this year, and our swimmers had a record-breaking year.

Sure, I might have a little chip on my shoulder. I played tennis all four years of my high school career, and wrestled for one of them. My dad and his brothers all wrestled during high school, and my dad now coaches the freshmen wrestlers at Ironwood High School. And not be forgotten, both of my sisters, and my girlfriend, are swimmers.

Don't get me wrong, I like football, baseball and basketball. In fact, I enjoy all three of those sports at the collegiate level way more than at the professional level. But come on people, how about some due diligence?! This is a university with a multi-billion dollar budget, and you can't find a little room for two sports with rich, thousand-year histories, and one of the most popular sports world-wide? Disappointing. Hey, here's an idea - get paid less.

I have to get back to work now. But I just couldn't pass this story up. Thoughts?

Cheers,
Sam
"Who's that swimmer swimming in last place? It's Me! It's Me!"
The Spartan Cheerleaders

11 comments:

Nick Bastian said...

This does surprise me.. The wrestling program, I thought, was very successful. Swimming should be a no-brainer for our stste and tennis, well I don't follow it much but seems to me, there can't be a huge expense in keeping it. Too bad for the athletes and the fans..

Jeremy Sprague said...

Do you think this is just a ploy to milk some funds out of the alumni? These are high-profile programs, and I imagine most sane people are going to share your reaction and sentiments.

Samuel Isaac Richard said...

I hope so Jeremy. I guess that's what Hillary's plan was when she announced that she had to borrow against her personal finances to fund her campaign. All of sudden the donors came out of the woodwork...

adammackwright said...

This from a school who built like 17 new buildings in the last 3 years...there were 8 cranes on campus at once when i went there...i know your blog is pro-ASU but man am i ANTI, even if they printed my diploma...

Lewis Cash said...

I'd love to hear a report where all the administrators of ASU took a 1/3 pay cut... or better yet, lost their jobs completely to save money. Then we'd hear about people getting pissed.

Although, I agree, sounds like a while plotted out, Hillary move to me.

Anonymous said...

Did they cut both men's and women's programs? Because I had heard that they only cut men's swimming...

Lauraz said...

I am heartbroken that they are cutting these sports. Both my brothers are wrestlers. I have so much I want to say, but I can't find the words. I will post more thoughts later once I have gotten over the shock.

Kevo said...

Sam,

I don't disagree with what you said, but I am curious how many ASU wrestling matches, swim meets and tennis matches you have been to in the last year. Schools don't seem to cut sports that people are paying money to see. I enjoyed wrestling for two years in high school and I like playing recreational tennis, but sports survive where people pay to see them played. This is why MLS soccer is shit. Americans, for the most part, don't get the sport and aren't willing to pay money to see it.

Samuel Isaac Richard said...

Adam - I totally agree with you, and I want to clarify something real quick. This is a "pro- come and study at ASU" blog. Not at all "pro- we'll eat anything out of your hand, Dr. Crow" blog.

I am very aware of the fact that Dr. Crow and his wife make an annual salary of over a million dollars - which would easily pay for the reinstatement of those three sports.

And, if this were a "pro-America" blog, I would like to think I could question my country's leadership without being branded "anti-American."

Samuel Isaac Richard said...

Anonymous - Mens' Swimming, Mens' Tennis, and Wrestling were all cut. Wrestling does not break down into Mens' and Womens'.

There has been some speculation that this is a Title IX compliance issue, but there has been no mention of that from Lisa Love and ASU.

Samuel Isaac Richard said...

Kevo- I think your point is valid, to a degree. Where I disagree is the fact that this is a public university. Attendance at events, games, etc., shouldn't matter nearly as much as participation. If three guys and two girls want to wrestle, the program should be available. If this were a private university, or a professional sports organization, I would completely understand and agree with that argument. But the fact remains, the public university should be a Mecca of opportunity of every sort.

But in a fair answer to your question, I have not been to any of those sporting events. I went to one ASU football game, and no other sporting events last school year.