Eastern Michigan eliminating four sports programs due to budget cuts

Posted: 8:26 AM, Mar 20, 2018
Updated: 2018-03-22 18:15:43-04
Eastern Michigan cutting 4 sports for budget

Eastern Michigan University is cutting four sports programs as part of the university's budget cuts, the university announced on Tuesday.

According to EMU, they are eliminating softball, men's swimming and diving, women's tennis and wrestling beginning at the end of the 2018 spring season. That affects 58 male student-athletes and 25 female student-athletes, and will save the university $2.4 million.

“We are very saddened by having to make this move, which is necessary as we continue to align the University budget with enrollment and state funding trends,” University President James Smith said in a release.

EMU now has 17 sports and will stay in the Mid-American Conference.

According to the university, they will still honor all athletic scholarships for the students if they decide to remain at EMU.

To be part of the Division 1 FBS, schools must maintain a minimum of 16 sports, and the MAC requires universities to have football, men's basketball, women's basketball and women's volleyball.

EMU said they chose the sports through a variety of factors including program cost, athletic facilities and more.

On top of the affected students, there will be eight full-time coaches, one grad assistant and one part-time assistant coach affected by the cuts. 

They say they are not considering any other reductions in sports programs.

"This was an extremely tough decision and it is a very sad day," said EMU Vice President and Director of Athletics Scott Wetherbee. "As a former college student-athlete who went through this process when my sport was eliminated, I empathize with how difficult this is for our impacted student-athletes.”