“This collaborative request from the Group of Five is intended as the sort of creative alternative these unprecedented times demand,” Craig Thompson, the commissioner of the Mountain West, said in a statement. “The waivers of N.C.A.A. legislation would create a permissive environment, allowing each institution and conference across the Division I landscape the necessary flexibility to determine how to best proceed in making financial adjustments which are intended to preserve sports and opportunities for student-athletes.”
Some universities have started cutting programs to save money, and it is likely that more will follow. The University of Cincinnati, a member of the American Athletic Conference, cut its men’s soccer team on Tuesday, stating that it needed to consider long-term budget implications. Aresco said that the team had been struggling for a long time and that the conference members had no plans to cut other sports at this time.
Earlier this month, Old Dominion University, a member of Conference USA, cut its wrestling program and announced that other cost saving measures would save about $1 million. The decision was related to the findings of a study by an outside consultant before the coronavirus crisis.
“Our decision became even more clear during this coronavirus crisis, which we know will have significant impact on future athletics budgets,” Camden Wood Selig, Old Dominion’s athletic director, said in a statement. “This decision will better allow the remaining sports to compete at a national level.”
Both the University of Cincinnati and Old Dominion said they would honor current scholarships for affected players for the duration of their time at the school.
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