Per their release, they are eliminating the following programs and are specifically citing COVID as the reason for the cuts
Stanford will discontinue 11 of our varsity sports programs at the conclusion of the 2020-21 academic year: men's and women's fencing, field hockey, lightweight rowing, men's rowing, co-ed and women's sailing, squash, synchronized swimming, men's volleyball and wrestling.
Due to the escalating costs of operating such a large athletics department, a structural deficit emerged several years prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. That deficit was projected to exceed $12 million in FY21 and to grow steadily in the years ahead. The COVID-19 pandemic and associated recession have only exacerbated the gap; before these sport reductions, our revised forecasts indicated a best-case scenario of a $25 million deficit in FY21, factoring in the effects of COVID-19, and a cumulative shortfall of nearly $70 million over the next three years. These projected deficits could become much greater if the 2020-21 sports seasons are suspended or altered due to COVID-19.
These 11 sports were decided upon after a comprehensive evaluation of all of our sports across a broad set of criteria and considerations, including, but not limited to:
- Sponsorship of the sport at the NCAA Division I level
- National youth and postgraduate participation in the sport
- Local and national fan interest in the sport
- Potential expense savings from the elimination of the sport
- Incremental investments required to keep or put the sport in a position to achieve competitive excellence on the national level
- History of the sport at Stanford
- Prospects for future success of the sport at Stanford
- Impact on gender equity and Title IX compliance
- Impact on the diversity of our student-athlete population
- Impact on the student-athlete experience across all sports, now and in the future
Keep in mind, this isn't just some private school cutting these sports. Stanford is literally the pinnacle of success for an overall Athletic Department's success
Stanford, the gold-standard of broad-based athletic departments, and winner of 25 consecutive Directors' Cups, is cutting 11 of its 36 varsity teams. Just wow. https://t.co/XTnyHS7HI8— David Teel (@ByDavidTeel) July 8, 2020
And if you're wondering if boosters are going to be able to bring them back through donations. Nope, these decisions are final and permanent.
Stanford says the 11 sports cut is final & they can not be brought back even thru individual sports fundraising efforts. Stanford had 36 varsity sports - most schools have about 18 - & has won 25 consecutive Learfield Cups, signifying nation's best athletic program— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) July 8, 2020
This is going to send a shockwave through collegiate athletics and the reality we have coming out of COVID is going to be drastically different than the one we had going into it. Non Rev sports are on life support, and if someone like Stanford is slashing them for budgetary reasons, things are bound to get really ugly really quick.