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.
“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