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Volume 27 No. 5
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AP Finds 97 Teams Eliminated From 4-Year Schools Amid Pandemic

Olympic sports could be particularly vulnerable; there are only 17 men's gymnastics programs in the U.S.
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Olympic sports could be particularly vulnerable; there are only 17 men's gymnastics programs in the U.S.
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Olympic sports could be particularly vulnerable; there are only 17 men's gymnastics programs in the U.S.
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

A total of 97 sports teams have been "eliminated at four-year schools" through last Friday with the "coronavirus outbreak and its impacts cited as all or part of the reason," according to research by Eric Olson of the AP. Of the 78 teams lost at the D-I, D-II and NAIA levels, 44 were "from three schools that closed at least in part because of financial fallout from the pandemic." No Power Five conference school is "known to have dropped any sports." Most of the 19 D-I teams cut -- 15 men's, four women's -- are "from schools in so-called Group of Five conferences." Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said that he "worries about schools cutting Olympic sports." Bowlsby: "There are only 17 men's gymnastics programs in this country. If those go away, our Olympic efforts in men's gymnastics will be devastated. Similarly, with different numbers, the same is true with women's gymnastics and swimming, wrestling and a whole array of other things like water polo" (AP, 5/30).

BORN & BRED: In Raleigh, Jonathan Alexander noted North Carolina AD Bubba Cunningham last Friday released a plan that "detailed when and how student-athletes and coaching staffs will return to campus." Most people "will return in groups in June and July." Facilities staff "will return" today, while sports medicine staff "will return June 8." The coaching staff for football and men's and women's basketball "will return on June 12." Football student-athletes "will return in four separate groups on June 12, 19, 26 and 29." Men's and women's basketball players "will return" July 6. The athletes would be tested for COVID-19 "at least twice -- once when they arrive on campus, and seven to eight days after" (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 5/30). Meanwhile, in Indiana, Mike Carmin noted Purdue will begin bringing some athletes and coaches back to campus, "starting June 8 for voluntary workouts" (Lafayette JOURNAL & COURIER, 5/30).