89.1 WEMU

Eastern Michigan University Reduces Athletics Programs

Mar 20, 2018

Eastern Michigan University has announced the elimination of four sports from their intercollegiate athletic program at the conclusion of the spring season as part of the University’s budget restructuring efforts.


The sports of softball, men’s swimming and diving, women’s tennis, and wrestling will be cut in an effort to save $2.4 million.

A Letter from EMU President James Smith:

To students, faculty and staff: 

Today we are announcing an extremely difficult decision – the elimination of four sports from our intercollegiate athletic program at the conclusion of this year’s spring season. The action is being taken as part of the University’s overall budget restructuring efforts.  

 

Affected by the decision are the sports of softball, men’s swimming and diving, women’s tennis, and wrestling. This morning, I am meeting personally with the student-athletes affected by the decision and will be joined by Vice President and Director of Athletics Scott Wetherbee.   

 

I am very saddened by having to make this move, but it is important and necessary at this time. This action aligns us with our Mid-American Conference peers in total number of sports, and is part of our ongoing effort to realign University resources to ensure that we continue to invest in high-demand high-quality academic programs and world-class facilities.  

 

Going forward, the student-athletes affected by this are our priority. We will honor all athletics scholarships for the students should they decide to remain at Eastern to complete their degrees, which we hope they will.  

 

We understand that some may leave Eastern to continue in their sport at another university, and we have committed to offering them our full support throughout that process. We have wonderful student-athletes, coaches and athletics staff here at Eastern who make a tremendous contribution to campus life – in competition, in class and in our greater community. This is a difficult day for all of them, and for all of us. 

 

For additional details about the decision, please see the news release, which includes comments from Board of Regents Chair James Webb and Vice President and Director of Athletics Wetherbee.  

 

Respectfully, 

 

James M. Smith  

 

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— David Fair is the WEMU News Director and host of Morning Edition on WEMU.  You can contact David at 734.487.3363, on twitter @DavidFairWEMU, or email him at dfair@emich.edu