East Carolina University is feeling the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. With the university losing money, it has been forced to cut four sports programs following a recommendation from a fiscal sustainability working group, according to 247 Sports.
The four sports that have been cut by the university are men’s and women’s tennis, and men’s and women’s swimming and diving.
East Carolina is currently projected to lose $10 million for the fiscal year.
As a result of the cuts, 68 student-athletes and nine coaches have been impacted.
“Today’s decision came after a deliberate review and in-depth analysis of the athletics department’s budgets and programs,” Mitchelson said in a release. “The current athletics budget was not sustainable pre-COVID-19 and the university was working closely with athletics to decrease the annual deficit over the next year. With the pandemic, the deficit began to grow significantly where the impact was immediate and will affect future revenue and expenses for years to come. Ultimately, the reduction of sports aligns ECU with our American Athletic Conference peers and provides a roadmap to a more sustainable future for the University and athletics.
“The affected student-athletes will be our priority and we are committed to offering them our full support during this transition. We will honor all athletic scholarships for students who decide to remain at ECU to complete their degree and are committed to ensuring their success here. Athletics is an important part of our overall campus community and this is a difficult day for Pirate Nation, and the impact of this decision is not taken lightly.”
With the cuts, ECU now has the fewest sports programs (16) in the American Athletic Conference. In order to remain in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), the NCAA requires universities to sponsor at least 16 sports.