CAMPUS CALL: CUTTING TEAMS
Each week, ESPN.com surveys the student-athletes on our panel to see how they feel about a topic that directly affects collegiate life.
How should schools handle cutting sports teams?
"This is a huge problem and can be very devastating to people affected. I remember when SMU dropped the men's track program a while back and no one on the team saw it coming. They didn't know what to do or where to go. There has to be at least some prior notification so that it gives time to athletes to sort out their future."
-- Chase Wileman, SMU men's soccer
"I think there should definitely be guidelines. There are only a couple of guidelines I could think of for cutting a sport. The first would be to give ample reason to the affected athletes and public for cutting the sport. This solves a couple of problems. One, it makes sure that administration does not cut sports for unnecessary or unethical reasons. Two, it informs everyone involved with the university of problems, such as financial or ethical, allowing them to be addressed. The second guideline would be to give as much of a heads-up to the affected athletes so they can transfer and make appropriate arrangements for their next season."
-- Tyler Henley, Rice baseball
"I do think the school should try and give the athletes as early a notice as possible along with a thorough explanation. The school should also go to whatever measures necessary to preserve an athlete's year of eligibility, as well as assisting and encouraging transfers if the athlete wants to continue in competition. Perhaps schools within the same area could work together to offer opportunities for athletes to play for another local school while remaining in the academic environment they prefer."
-- Meghan Murphy, Notre Dame women's lacrosse
"I don't have much experience with sports being cut at my university, but if my sport were going to be eliminated, I would want to know at least a year ahead of time. This would allow me to attempt to raise awareness and support so that my sport may be saved, and failing that, I would have time to look at options like transferring to a different university. There should never be a situation where a sport is canceled out of the blue and none of the athletes or staff are given adequate warning."
-- Scott Smith, Cal football
"Yes, there should be [guidelines] and a sport should never be cut. Unless the students are not going out for the sport, it simply means there is a lack of leadership to go out and get what needs to be done accomplished. It is usually the easy way out, cutting a sport."
-- Sam Hazewinkel, Oklahoma wrestling
"If a school decides to cut a sport the athletes should be informed as soon as the idea is being considered. In addition, when the cut occurs all active members should be able to continue with their studies until they complete their degree."
-- Nicky Anosike, Tennessee women's basketball