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The Coming College-Sports Apocalypse


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Last week, Stanford announced that the coming season — if there is a season — will be the last for eleven of the school’s sports teams: men’s and women’s fencing, field hockey, lightweight rowing, men’s rowing, co-ed and women’s sailing, squash, synchronized swimming, men’s volleyball, and wrestling.

Many inside and outside the university fumed about the decision, pointing out that Stanford has an endowment of $27.7 billion as of last summer. But regardless of the wisdom of the cuts, Stanford is representative of perhaps 100 colleges and universities with lucrative football and/or basketball programs, all of which are now facing an unparalleled funding crisis as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The cancellation of the NCAA basketball tournament this March cost schools a projected $375 million in revenue. The outlook for college football this autumn is foggy. Some conferences have already announced a limited schedule that dispenses with non-conference games to reduce the amount of travel. If all non-conference games are canceled, schools will lose about $160 million.:snip:

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