Eastern Michigan Stakeholders to Hold “Rally Against Cuts”

What is being called a “broad coalition of students, alumni, faculty and staff” will hold a “Rally Against Cuts” on Monday outside of the Eastern Michigan University (EMU) Convocation Center. The group will demonstrate publicly their belief that the 4 sports programs that the school announced in March would be cut should not be.

EMU Students, Alumni, Faculty and Staff
Rally Against Cuts to Save EMU Sports Teams
Monday, April 16th at 6 pm
EMU Convocation Center, 799 North Hewitt Road

Supporters of the men’s swimming, men’s wrestling, women’s softball, and women’s tennis teams will gather to protest what they say is lies peddled as to the actual cost savings of the cuts.

“We won’t be silent while short-sighted administrators try to cut the heart out of our university,” said Mark Krusinski, an EMU student and member of the swim team.  “They said it would save money to cut our teams, but that’s not even true.”

The Eastern Michigan Convocation Center, where the rally will be held.

A study by Howard Bunsis, an EMU Professor of Accounting, says that his calculations show that cutting these 4 sports will actually cost the school $61,000 total annually, rather than the $2.4 million in savings claimed. These calculations include his identification of an overestimate of the costs of the wrestling program by $279,000, as well as a failure to account for revenue earned by non-scholarship athletes paying tuition. Eastern Michigan is currently seeing a decline in enrollment, which could be worsened by the loss of these 4 programs.

“We support our students, and we believe that athletics provides many students the opportunity to experience what sports can provide; a tremendous sense of teamwork and dedication,” said Howard Bunsis “We believe we can continue to provide students in all sports the same experience in a different economic framework.”

So far, the protests have fallen on deaf ears in Ypsilanti. The school has stood by its calculations, in spite of Bunsis’ alternative math, and have put out a press release stating that fundraising efforts won’t be enough to save the programs. The school is currently losing $24 million annually on its athletics programs, out of a $30 million budget – meaning that approximately $1000 from every EMU student is used to subsidize the program. That’s one of the worst financial performances in Division I. The school’s football program brings in more revenue than any other program (just over $3 million), but also was the most expensive to operate – at more than $9 million. That means $5.8 million of football expenses were covered by direct institutional support.

The men’s swimming team, meanwhile, received direct institutional support of $749,000 in 2017 on the program’s operating costs of $813,000.

Monday’s rally is sponsored by the Coalition for a Better EMU.  More information is available at saveEMUsports.com. The rally is also being supported by the university’s faculty union.

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3 years ago

Time to start looking at reality… swimming loses money for a school. As much as 90% of us count on making it as a pro swimmers, the reality is that only the top 2 at NCAA’s D1 have a CHANCE to make it as a pro swimmer to make 30k a year, which is still pathetic. Even making NCAAs, which is impossible for 99% of D1 swimmers, won’t get you anywhere after college.

Reply to  Austin
3 years ago

Bold statement. I’d say lessons learned in collegiate athletics can be applied to a professional career. These student athletes are fighting for something they love and value. Keep up the fight!

What’s your point?
Reply to  Austin
3 years ago

Everyone should just pack it in and quit?

Reply to  Austin
3 years ago

I don’t know if you are just posting to get a reaction, but 90% of us count on making it as pro swimmers is absurd. That number is is far off, maybe 1-2%. The idea that pro swimmers are surviving on 30k is also inaccurate. The percentage of people making NCAAs is much higher. It is a tough meet but more than 1% qualifies.

3 years ago

The estimated savings by cutting the four sports, $60,000 per year, was calculated by an accounting professor. One of the data points left out of the analysis was the $650,000 in academic scholarships received by athletes in softball, men’s swimming and diving and wrestling. To arrive at the $60,000 number the professor assumed that all of the athletes who were on partial athletic scholarships paid for the balance of their tuition and room and board out of their pockets. Most of the athletes had some out of pocket expenses, but nothing as high as estimated by the prof. Three of the sports accounted for $1M in athletic grants in aid and an additional $650K in academic aid. Therefore, the loss… Read more »

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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