Optimism On Stanford Sport Reinstatements After President Meets With Alum Group

Stanford University President Marc Tessier-Lavigne met with alumni advocacy group 36 Sports Strong, sparking optimism that 11 sports could be reinstated.

Stanford announced last summer that it would be cutting 11 varsity sports, including synchronized swimming and aquatic-adjacent sports rowing and sailing. Other sports cut were wrestling, men’s volleyball, squash, field hockey and women’s fencing.

That comes during a year that was brutal on Olympic and non-revenue sports at the college level, with multiple Division I swimming & diving programs cut amid financial issues in the coronavirus pandemic.

But The Stanford Daily reports that both sides say they are optimistic after the meeting between the school president and the alumni organization.

“We believe President Tessier-Lavigne and the Board’s Athletics subcommittee are trying to lead an earnest effort to review the decision,” said 36 Sports Strong representative Jeremy Jacobs in the Daily story. “We look forward to continuing the conversation about how this plan will work for Stanford students.”

The school said that Tessier-Lavigne and 36 Sports Strong had “a substantive and very informative exchange,” per the Stanford Daily.

The group has raised more than $50 million between pledges and existing endowments, and hopes to self-endow the 11 cut programs. 36 Sports Strong lists several big-name aquatic representatives among its ranks:

  • Olympic swimming champ Janet Evans
  • Olympic swimming champ Summer Sanders
  • Olympic swimming champ Mike Bruner
  • Olympic swimming champ Jay Mortensen
  • Olympic swimmer John Moffet
  • Olympic swimmer Anthony Mosse
  • Olympic diver Kassidy Cook
  • Water polo Olympic champ Maggie Steffens
  • Water polo Olympic champ Wolf Wigo
  • Water polo Olympian Tony Azevedo
  • Water polo Olympian Peter Hudnut
  • Water polo Olympian Peter Varellas
  • Olympic synchronized swimmer Heather Olson
  • National synchronized swimming champ Morgan Fuller Kolsrud

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5 months ago

If STANFORD is making these cuts, I think Aquatics in general is in BIG trouble.
The only way to salvation is to TRY and form self-endowed programs – otherwise, the colleges and universities can cut you ANY time, period.

Coach Macgyver
5 months ago

I think this more of a strategic way to garner more attention to programs and receive more funding. I believe he knew full well that by announcing the cuts that the alumni and advocacy groups would step and raise funds to keep programs running.

So I disagree with your statement and firmly believe that Stanford and many other programs will continue to build a solid foundation for their programs.

5 months ago

American University just announced of signing the Stanford Wresting coach who was with the school for 13 seasons. It is unfortunate that this situation was not resolved beforehand.

5 months ago

My goodness…

That is quite the amazing swim complex.

Samuli Hirsi
Reply to  2Fat4Speed
5 months ago

when you have alumni with money you get nice things

Last edited 5 months ago by Samuli Hirsi
Reply to  Samuli Hirsi
5 months ago

Correct. And that’s why it so so surprising to see STANFORD, of all places (with a $28 billion university endowment) cutting a bunch of sports. Yes, that billion with a B

Reply to  swimgeek
5 months ago

Endowment $ cannot be used for athletics.

Coach Macgyver
Reply to  MarkB
5 months ago

Sport Endowment contributions supplement the budgets of non-revenue sports. https://goheels.com/news/2017/3/16/867817

Reply to  Coach Macgyver
5 months ago

Stanfords $28 Billion endowment is not a Sports Endowment. The coaches had to get alums to endow their positions since the school’s endowment couldn’t be used.

Coach Macgyver
Reply to  MarkB
5 months ago


About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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