The Ivy Coach Daily

July 16, 2020

UPenn Will Not Cut Varsity Sports

UPenn has no current plans to eliminate any of its 33 varsity teams.

With recent announcements by Stanford University, Dartmouth College, and Brown University that they each will be eliminating certain varsity athletic teams, the University of Pennsylvania has vowed not to cut any of their 33 varsity athletic teams anytime soon. While several college administrators and sports reporters have conjectured that many other universities, particularly Ivy League institutions, will be reducing the number of varsity athletic teams in the weeks to come, UPenn — at least according to its associate athletic director — has no plans to do so. One potential reason why? As compared to Stanford, Dartmouth, and Brown which have 36, 35, and 38 varsity athletic teams, respectively, UPenn has only 33.

Why Ivy League Universities Have So Many Varsity Athletic Teams

As Brandon Pride reports for The Daily Pennsylvanian in a piece entitled “Penn vows not to cut any varsity sports after multiple peers slash athletics programs,” “A common thread between the aforementioned schools that have discontinued teams is that they all carried a high number of teams to begin with. Brown, Stanford, and Dartmouth had 38, 36, and 35 sports, respectively, before the cuts were announced, whereas the average NCAA Division 1 school has only 19. Ivy League schools are able to sponsor a large number of varsity teams because league rules do not permit for academic scholarships, thereby reducing costs. Additionally, Ivy athletic programs receive funding from their institutions, while most athletic programs rely solely on athletic revenues.”

A Vow to Not Eliminate Varsity Athletic Teams Means Little

And while UPenn’s varsity athletes should find solace in the fact that a UPenn athletics administrator is vowing not to eliminate any of the school’s 33 varsity sports, our readers are well aware that administrators at other institutions have made such promises before — only to then cut teams. As an example, after Dartmouth cut its swimming and diving teams back in 2003, the school’s then-athletic director said it was a big mistake and one the school wouldn’t make again. The swimming and diving teams were again eliminated in 2020 — 17 years later. Things can change rapidly during the course of tough economic times, particularly during this pandemic. So only time will tell if UPenn’s vow to keep all of its varsity athletic teams will prove true.

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