The Norman Transcript

National Sports

December 22, 2013

Cutting sports from budget concerns a growing trend at major colleges

NORMAN — The meeting was brief. A few minutes tops.

Temple athletic director Kevin Clark didn’t mince words. Standing inside the football team’s indoor practice facility earlier this month, Clark scanned the crowd of dozens of student-athletes — none of them football players — and told them the financially strapped athletic department was cutting their sport at the end of the 2013-14 academic year.

There weren’t a lot of details. No lengthy question and answer session. Sitting alongside his 16 teammates on the men’s gymnastics team, sophomore Evan Eigner sat in stunned silence.

“When I heard the news,” Eigner said, “I kind of went numb a little bit.”

Temple’s announcement that it’s going from 24 sports to 17 next fall, a move that will eventually save about $3-3.5 million a year, was just the latest in a growing line of colleges and universities that are reshaping overextended athletic programs by shuttering smaller sports to help make those that remain — particularly those designed to bring in revenue — more competitive.

To be honest, Eigner still isn’t sure what happened. He understood the athletic department was in a tight spot money-wise. He knew there had been talk about changes and the threat of cuts. It was all just white noise until suddenly, it became only too real.

He heard the part where Clark said the school would honor all of the scholarships for the affected student athletes until they graduated. He heard the part where Clark said the school would do what it could to find new athletic homes for those wishing to transfer.

Eigner just didn’t hear what he would consider a sensible argument for cutting a program that takes up a small fraction of the athletic department budget yet nets conference championships. He grew up wanting to compete at Temple, where his stepfather Fred Turoff has been coach since 1976. He grew up wanting to walk out of his graduation ceremony with a degree in hand and four years of college gymnastics under his belt.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
National Sports
  • Drivers visit Indiana National Guard before race at Brickyard

    EDINBURGH, Ind. — Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Graham Rahal are used to occasional fireworks when drivers get upset at the track....

    July 25, 2014

  • Nibali wins Stage 18, builds overall lead

    ARGELES-GAZOST, France — As his team hoped, Vincenzo Nibali demonstrated he’s the “boss” of the Tour de France. Just don’t compare him to the last rider to regularly bear that sobriquet at cycling’s greatest race, Lance Armstrong....

    July 25, 2014

  • Sooners use momentum from Sugar Bowl in preparation for 2015 season

    The Associated Press NORMAN, Okla. — Oklahoma got a lot of attention with its upset victory over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl....

    July 25, 2014

  • Yankees edge Texas for sixth victory in seven games

    NEW YORK — Brandon McCarthy and Chase Headley are quickly putting their stamp on a playoff surge for the New York Yankees....

    July 25, 2014

  • Smoke turns corner at Indy

    INDIANAPOLIS — Drivers always say there’s something magical about Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the opportunity for NASCAR to race there opened the door for one of Jeff Gordon’s most treasured victories. It was a race Tony Stewart ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Former great addressed during annual shareholders meeting in G.B.

    GREEN BAY, Wis. — Flush with cash, the Packers have a 112,000 name-long waiting list for season tickets filled with die-hards eager to see a team that figures to be an NFC contender for years to come....

    July 24, 2014

  • Roma tops Liverpool

    BOSTON — Marco Borriello scored in the 90th minute to give Roma a 1-0 victory over Liverpool in a preseason friendly Wednesday night at Fenway Park. There were limited chances until Borriello volleyed in a corner from in front of goal....

    July 24, 2014

  • Marcus Mariota helps Oregon’s PAC-12 title chance in preseason polls

    LOS ANGELES — Although Marcus Mariota knew he would be under a spotlight when he stepped onto the famed Paramount Studios lot Wednesday, the Oregon quarterback is getting quite comfortable in his starring role....

    July 24, 2014

  • Potential buyer group scouts Toronto area

    BUFFALO, N.Y. — A Buffalo Bills prospective ownership group that includes rocker Jon Bon Jovi has conducted a feasibility study into buying the NFL franchise and building a stadium in Toronto, a person close to the situation said....

    July 24, 2014

  • Majka wins 16th stage, Nibali leads

    PLA D’ADET, France — On the last of four Pyrenees ascents, Rafal Majka winked at a French TV camera and tugged playfully at a motorcycle’s antenna....

    July 24, 2014