Several weeks ago, Brown University announced that it was dropping 11 of its varsity sports effective immediately as a result of an external review dating back to the 2018-2019 academic year. Just yesterday, Stanford shared plans to cut 11 varsity sports starting in 2021.
We also learned in the last 24 hours that the Ivy League athletic conference will cancel all varsity sports this fall due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While most varsity teams across the country hope to resume play once restrictions are lifted, the future of college athletics is uncertain.
Read my op-ed on Operation Varsity Blues in USA TODAY
But the COVID-19 pandemic deepens the dramatic policy decision to reduce the seemingly untouchable hold that athletics has had on admissions and the greater college community. With reduced funding from the NCAA and major financial losses due to abandoned campuses this spring, colleges are being forced to tighten their belts. But is Stanford's $27 billion dollar endowment really in trouble or is the pandemic being used as a reason for shifting priorities?
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