In a statement released on Friday, Eastern Michigan University says that the efforts by athletes to raise funds to save the 4 programs that the school announced would be cut earlier this week are unlikely to be enough to stave off their elimination.
“While we respect the effort of those involved, it is important to understand that there is no simplistic solution to reversing the decision – short of an endowment in the tens of millions of dollars that would provide indefinite funding for all of the sports being eliminated, no other pragmatic alternatives remain.”
Eastern Michigan announced on Tuesday that it would be eliminating men’s swimming, men’s wrestling, women’s tennis, and women’s softball at the end of the 2017-2018 season. Men’s swimming, who have won 34 MAC conference titles, was the most successful of those programs. The school believes that they will save $2.4 million with the changes.
The 2 men’s teams due to be cut have each set up GoFundMe accounts to try to fundraise to save their programs. As of posting, the swimming & diving team had raised $14,241 of a $90,000 goal, the wrestling team had raised $2,720 of a $250,000 goal,
YPSILANTI — Eastern Michigan University appreciates the passion and concern of the student athletes and alumni of the four sports that are being discontinued at the end of the spring season. We are aware of the various efforts and fundraising to change the decision, announced Tuesday, March 20.
While we respect the effort and those involved, it is important to understand that there is no simplistic solution to reversing the decision — short of an endowment in the tens of millions of dollars that would provide indefinite funding for all of the sports being eliminated, no other pragmatic alternatives remain.
As we stated previously, the decision to reduce the number of sports is necessary to align Eastern Michigan with our Mid-American Conference peers in terms of types and total number of sports teams. While the number of sports we have, 21, is the highest in the Mid-American Conference, our budget is one of the lowest. The budget reduction is part of our ongoing effort to realign resources to ensure that we continue to invest in high-demand, high-quality academic programs, world class facilities and future growth.
Budget reductions have been made campus wide, with all areas of the university affected. The realignment of resources will strengthen Eastern Michigan and provide stronger support for our students, faculty and staff for years to come.
This was an extremely painful decision. The student-athletes affected are our priority. As announced last Tuesday, athletics scholarships will be honored should the students decide to remain at Eastern and earn their degree, which we hope they will. For those who elect to continue their competitive careers elsewhere, EMU Athletics remains committed to helping them in the transfer process.