Athletic department to evaluate teams slated for elimination

Officials say will take into account fundraising thus far and make decisions accordingly

By Jenny Hottle
Sunday, June 24, 2012
Originally posted on diamondbackonline.com.

Although eight athletic teams are slated for elimination this weekend if they fail to meet their fundraising goals, athletics department officials said they will assess each teams’ progress and make decisions on a case-by-case basis.

The teams — men’s and women’s swimming and diving, men’s indoor and outdoor track and field, men’s cross country, women’s water polo, acrobatics and tumbling and men’s tennis — will be evaluated based on fundraising, rather than being automatically cut because the deadline has arrived, athletics department spokesman Doug Dull said.

Although no team has reached the fundraising goals set by university President Wallace Loh in November to help balance the department’s $83 million debt, Dull said the department will decide whether teams will be eliminated this weekend or given more time to reach their goals.

“On June 30, we’re going to take a look at where everybody is and make a tough decision if tough decisions need to be made,” Dull said. “Nothing is automatic in terms of cuts and funding, based solely on the date.”

Senior Associate Athletic Director Cheryl Harrison declined to give additional details and said the department will release more information next week.

Officials had extended the benchmarks for four programs during the spring semester — the swimming and diving teams have raised $184,716 toward their adjusted June 30 goal of $2.8 million, outdoor track and field has raised $674,621 toward its benchmark of $940,000, and water polo has raised $34,386 toward its $1.05 million goal.

By Dec. 31, 2014, each team would then need to raise the funds to support their programs for eight years, amounts ranging from about $3.7 million to more than $11 million.

The acrobatics and tumbling and tennis teams – which must raise about $5.28 million and $3.83 million, respectively – have not received new benchmarks.

Men’s tennis coach Kyle Spencer declined to comment, and other athletic coaches could not be reached this afternoon.

news@umdbk.com

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