Brown to Cut Three Intercollegiate Sports

Saturday, April 23, 2011


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Faced with budget cut backs and changed priorities, a Special Committee appointed by President Ruth Simmons and the Brown Corporation propose cutting three varsity sports. The last time Brown proposed cutting a number of sports teams it was rocked by a long and divisive court battle over Title IX compliance issues. The fight ended after a lengthy series of court battles.

The Committee wrote, "We recommend that the department offer a total of 34 intercollegiate teams, compared to the 37 teams offered today. In particular, we recommend that the men’s and women’s fencing, women’s skiing, and men’s wrestling programs be discontinued. On the other hand, at least one additional women’s program should be elevated from club to varsity status in order to ensure equitable participation by gender as required by Title IX. In developing our recommendations for programs that would be discontinued, we relied extensively on the “evaluative criteria” that were identified in the study by the Provost and Dean of the College that was discussed with the Corporation."

Specific factors that influenced our recommendations for fencing, skiing, and wrestling included:

o Fencing. It would require a large investment in facilities, infrastructure, and coaching to bring the fencing program at Brown to the necessary level for a high-quality competitive experience. The program currently lacks locker rooms, practice and competition space, and a full complement of coaches. There are only a small number of fencing programs nationally;
o Skiing. Brown cannot offer facilities to support competitive skiing in any reasonable way. All practice and competition currently takes place in New Hampshire and western Massachusetts, and we worry about both the safety of our students travelling these distances on a regular basis and about the impact on their academic opportunities. There are only two other varsity skiing programs within the Ivy League.
o Wrestling. Wrestling is one of our more expensive programs to support and requires a larger number of admissions slots. It also presents major challenges to our commitment to equitable participation by gender. Wrestling is not offered by all Ivy League

Attempts to reach Coaches were unsuccessful.



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