Emily Molins was on track to compete in the Olympics Molins, 20, a light rower, joined the US Under-23 national team last year, and she competed for Stanford University National Championship Team
Then, in early July, Molins was invited to participate in a brief Zoom video call Stanford athletic director informed her and her teammates that their program would be cut due to a history of cost overruns in the sports department that Covid-19 had made even worse
« This decision makes it much, much more difficult, especially as a varsity athlete, to have the resources to practice elite athletics, » said Molins, who has since decided to take a year off.
Stanford isn’t the only university to adapt its athletic programs Many college and university athletic conferences have postponed fall sports for reasons focused on student athlete safety concerns around Covid-19 – and now , some college athletic programs are being phased out completely The cuts, many of which take place in programs that fuel athletes at US Olympic teams, may have a downstream effect on the country’s participation in these sports
The most affected college sports are rowing, swimming, diving, tennis, athletics and volleyball During the last two Summer Olympics in 2012 and 2016, in these six sports, the US team won 147 medals out of 216 total events, NBC News tally shows
Twenty-six colleges and universities, from Stanford to Dartmouth College, have cut more than 90 athletic programs, according to an NBC News tally Stanford cut 11 athletic programs, throwing Molins and 239 other athletes adrift
More than 1,500 Division I student-athletes will soon be out of college-level competition in their schools, mostly due to Covid-19 related cuts. Hundreds of coaches and staff do not will no longer have their teams or, in many cases, their jobs
The ramifications of these cups are just starting to be sorted out by the US Olympic organizations and governing bodies for each sport, and experts say the decisions ahead could jeopardize sport development for the next Olympic cycles
« To make the national team you have to play in college, » said Erik Shoji, US Olympic bronze medalist, former NCAA champion and four-time American volleyball player from Stanford.
« Our coach, he’s currently a college men’s volleyball coach, » said Shoji. « Going to college is the only reason he saw us play »
Sarah Wilhelmi, director of college partnerships for US Olympic Paralympic Committee &, said the college system is « an absolute lifeline for our Olympic development teams »
In China, UK, France and other countries, government departments are focusing on building up their country’s sports teams According to the NCAA, at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, over 8 in 10 athletes on US national teams competed at the college level ahead of the Olympics
Consideration of the immediate impact the cups could have on the U.S. squad is unclear due to the « different trajectory or maturation » of each sport’s makeup, Wilhelmi said
Wilhelmi acknowledged that not all sports are the same and that Covid-19 may have revealed how ineffective general policies for football and basketball, such as some NCAA recruiting rules expensive to follow, were in all sports
Many sports that schools play, such as rowing, water polo, and swimming, do not have professional leagues the size or resources of the NBA or major baseball that athletes can join once. their academic career ended More While training opportunities are available through Olympic development programs and development camps, varsity sports are an important part of the athlete development pipeline
Sports with larger professional infrastructures and leagues that generate millions of dollars in revenue, such as basketball and football, have yet to see a program canceled at the Division I level
Coaches and student-athletes are also talking about the domino effect these cuts can have, when one school’s cuts serve as a guide for others Two months after Stanford announced its cuts, the College of William and Mary of Williamsburg, Va., Announced he was ending seven sports The language used by William and Mary in their ad made headlines to accurately reflect some of the words in the Stanford ad
Alumni Networks Across Country Rally to Save Curriculum At University of Iowa Alumni Raised Over $ 3 Million At College of William and Mary, student-athletes and alumni have joined forces to raise more than $ 1 million for cup sports, including track and field, gymnastics and volleyball, since the school announced the decision in early September
He said he hopes Stanford will change his decision to cut back on men’s volleyball due to what he called the « astonishing upward trend in participation », while sharing the fear that other schools could follow Stanford’s example
World News – UK – Cuts to varsity sports following Covid cloud future of US Olympics
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