U of I considering cutting 3 sports

U of I considering cutting 3 sports

The University of Idaho is facing a budget dilemma that involves possibly cutting three of its athletic programs.

The Idaho Statesman reports Vandals soccer captain Kelly Dopke was in a meeting last Wednesday with President Chuck Staben as the student-athlete advisory committee president when she learned the potential for the school to cut women’s soccer and swimming and diving, and men’s golf.

Those are the three sports Idaho has that are not required by the Big Sky Conference, the Vandals’ athletics home. Sand volleyball and women’s triathlon likely would be added for Idaho to remain Title IX compliant and get back above the Football Championship Subdivision minimum of 14 sports. Idaho asked the Big Sky for a waiver from its sports requirements but that was denied in March, the university said.

Dopke and her teammates now are writing letters and emails and making phone calls to state Board of Education members, urging them to consider Idaho’s plan to change the way the financial impact of athletics is determined. That plan would allow Idaho to save all three sports.

Meanwhile, the University of Idaho will ask the State Board at its April 18-19 meeting in Moscow for additional time in dealing with athletics deficits. The State Board gives universities two years to erase those deficits if a waiver isn’t granted.

Idaho presented two plans Friday at a State Board committee meeting in Boise: Change the way athletics expenses and revenue are calculated to recognize the student revenue the department brings to campus, or slash expenses by eliminating sports.

If the waiver is not granted, the school must act quickly to eliminate the deficit.