The University of Iowa is discontinuing four sports programs at the conclusion of the 2020-21 academic year.
The school cited the financial toll of the coronavirus pandemic as the reason for shutting down men’s gymnastics, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, and men’s tennis.
“The Covid-19 pandemic resulted in a financial exigency which threatens our continued ability to adequately support 24 intercollegiate athletics programs at the desired championship level. With the Big Ten Conference’s postponement of fall competition on August 11, UI Athletics now projects lost revenue of approximately $100M and an overall deficit between $60-75M this fiscal year. A loss of this magnitude will take years to overcome. We have a plan to recover, but the journey will be challenging," school president Bruce Harreld and athletics director Gary Barta said in an open letter.
Existing scholarships will be honored through graduation as long as the student-athlete decides to remain at Iowa. Athletes in those sports will have the opportunity to compete in their upcoming 2020-21 seasons, but only if the circumstances surrounding Covid-19 permit before the sports are discontinued.
Some context: Iowa is the latest high-profile university to cancel sports programs due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Last month, Stanford University cut 11 varsity sports programs including field hockey, synchronized swimming, men's volleyball and wrestling.