NCAA Division I School the University of Vermont has announced a cutback in athletics scholarships in 3 programs, including the women’s swimming & diving program. Between that, the men’s and women’s cross country program, and the men’s and women’s track & field program, the athletics department says that it will save around $180,000 by cutting 3.5 total scholarships.
Vermont’s estimated cost of attendance for the 2018-2019 academic year is $33,804 for Vermont residents and $58,450 for non-Vermont residents.
According to VTDigger, the women’s-only swimming & diving program will from 5.75 scholarships this year to 4.75 next year. Women’s cross country/track and field will drop from 5.9 to 4 scholarships, while men’s cross country/track and field will drop from 3.5 to 2.5. Women’s swimming & diving has a maximum of 14 scholarships, women’s cross country/track & field has a maximum of 18 scholarships, and men’s cross country/track & field has a maximum of 12.6 scholarships in Division I.
Vermont athletics director Jeff Schulman says that ‘the decision was part of a wider effort of cuts to make the department more sustainable,’ according to VTDigger. He also said that operating budgets were cut in all varsity sports, including 3 full-time positions (1 in communications, 1 in facilities, and 1 assistant coaching position).
The school is, however, moving forward with its plan to open a new $95 million athletics center. They explained that money for the facility comes from earmarked donations and restricted bonds, while scholarships come from the athletics budget, which is funded by its own revenue and the university. While the school cut several sports in the early 2000s, Schulman says the latest cuts are part of an effort to maintain the school’s 18 varsity program. The school announced this week that new athletics center will be named the Tarrant Events Center after they received a $15 million gift from Rich and Deb Tarrant – the largest capital gift in school history.
Vermont finished 3rd out of 6 teams at last season’s America East Conference Championship meet, behind New Hampshire and UMBC. Swimulator scores them as 3rd in the conference this year as well based on current season-best times.
The school does not sponsor football, and enrollment overall at the university has been falling for the last 20 years.