BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — After this season, the University at Buffalo will have four fewer intercollegiate athletic programs.
The programs being cut are men’s baseball, men’s soccer, men’s swimming and diving and women’s rowing. This will bring the number of sports team down from 20 to 16.
“This has been a very difficult decision made only with extensive deliberation,” UB President Satish K. Tripathi said in a news release from the school. “The unfortunate reality is that we no longer have the resources to support 20 competitive Division I athletic teams. I know that this is a difficult day for our student-athletes, our coaches, and the entire athletics program and university. We will work very hard to provide our student-athletes and coaches who are impacted by this decision with the support they need.”
The reasons behind those teams being cut are geographic location, athletic facilities, program costs, Title IX and “a comparison of sports sponsored by Mid-American Conference schools,” UB says.
“The reductions are part of overall reductions in the athletic department,” UB Athletic Director Allen Greene said during a conference,. “That money saved will be redistributed to other sports.”
That statement comes after what Greene says was a record year of fundraising for athletics at the school.
“Although revenue is increasing from an athletics perspective, the expenses are outpacing it,” Greene said.
The school says the decision to cut these programs “will better align UB” with other Mid-American Conference schools that have similar types and numbers of sports programs sponsored by the schools.
Greene said “As a former student-athlete, I empathize with how difficult this is for our impacted student-athletes. I recognize the strong sense of identity tied to the uniform and the value intercollegiate athletics provides young people.”
Greene said students did not know the cuts were coming.
“Certainly, it was a surprise to them,” Greene said. “I don’t know that any student athlete walks into a team meeting expecting to have their sport discontinued, so yeah that was a surprise. I think they were student athletes that were sad, that were shocked, they were angry, which is to be expected given the news. But I also thought they handled it very very maturely and very very proud of the way they’ve handled the situation that’s far.”
The cuts are “not a short term decision,” Greene says. “This is a very long-term strategic decision and when we think about our purpose in terms of athletics in the University, our responsibility is to raise the profile of the University of Buffalo through collegiate athletics.”
UB says they will honor the scholarships and national letters of intent of student-athletes who are affected by the decision.