(Buffalo, N.Y.) – The University at Buffalo announced April 3 they will cut four sports teams, which the school says will ultimately save $2 million a year.
The sports to be eliminated include baseball, men’s soccer, men’s swimming and diving and women’s rowing.
UB currently spends about $32 million per year on its 20 athletic programs, which the school said it could no longer afford.
Mark Gaughan, sports editor at the Buffalo News, appeared on the Buffalo Review April 10 to discuss the move.
“They had to get down to 16 sports, so which ones do you cut and that was the tough decision they had to make,” said Gaughan.
The NCAA requires schools to compete in a minimum of 16 sports to have Division I status, which is also known as the Football Bowl Subdivision.
Gaughan said most athletic programs, including UB’s, run at a deficit, with football and basketball being the only sports that typically make money.
“Baseball has a lot of travel cost associated with it, because the season starts in February, so they play 24 games on the road. That is a lot of travel. Soccer was a extremely successful sport at UB, but the conference there doesn’t have that many teams playing soccer,” he said.
The money UB saves from the cuts won’t be put back into athletics, but rather will be put into the school’s general budget, according to Gaughan.
“I guess doing things right doesn’t matter. Back to back title games, highest GPA on campus and loads of community service. Still in shock,” tweeted Austin Place, a member of the UB soccer team.
Additionally, baseball coach Ron Torgalski told Baseball America he was never informed the program was in jeopardy prior to the announcement.
“To have something taken away like that and being blindsided made it pretty difficult,” Torgalski said.
Gaughan said men’s swimming was likely cut because the school had to find a way to balance the opportunities for men and women under Title IX.
The players on the affected teams will have the option of remaining on scholarship at the school or they can transfer.
According to UB, no other teams are in danger of being cut.
* Marche Black and Joseph Kasko contributed to this report.