Brown University Considers Dropping Fencing, Wrestling, Women's Ski Teams
A Brown University committee has recommended that the school eliminate the men’s and women’s fencing, wrestling and women’s ski teams and increase the budget for the remaining 34 athletic programs by 10 percent.
The review was undertaken to assess the role of athletics at Brown and to prepare a plan that ensures university resources are being used according to the university’s academic mission, according to the report.
Brown, in Providence, Rhode Island, has the third-largest athletic program in the Ivy League in terms of sports offered and the smallest budget at $15.2 million, according to the 2009- 2010 Equity in Athletics Disclosure report available on the U.S. Department of Education’s website. University President Ruth Simmons and the school’s governing body may make a decision on eliminating the sports as early as next month, and the teams would be eliminated for the 2011-2012 academic year.
Brown Athletic Director Michael Goldberger didn’t immediately return a phone call to his office.
In its report, the review committee said fencing would require “a large investment in facilities, infrastructure, and coaching” to bring the program up to par.
The report said the school could not offer “facilities to support competitive skiing in any reasonable way,” noting that all practices and competitions now are held in New Hampshire and western Massachusetts.
It said wrestling is one of the most expensive programs and causes difficulties complying with Title IX -- the federal law requiring that women have an equal number of opportunities to participate as men. There are 28 males and no females on the wrestling team.
In their most recent seasons, the men’s fencing team finished 8-8; women’s fencing 3-14; and wrestling 2-10, according to the Ivy League Sports website.
The committee’s report also says that Brown’s coaches and staff are underpaid and should be brought into line with other Ivy League schools; the number of admissions slots for recruited athletes should be reduced by 30 to 195; athletic facilities need to be upgraded.
According to the Equity in Athletics Disclosure Report, Brown had the least athletic department revenue in the 2009-2010 academic year: Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut ($36.5 million); University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia ($30.4 million); Princeton University in New Jersey ($19.5 million); Columbia University in New York ($19.3 million); Cornell University in Ithaca, New York ($19 million); Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire ($18.5 million); Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts ($17.9 million) and Brown ($15.2 million).
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