Wright State to cut 3 athletic programs

Wright State University today announced it would eliminate three intercollegiate athletic programs as part of budget cuts in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The programs are softball, men’s tennis and women’s tennis. A university release said 39 student-athletes would be affected, as would six coaches.

The move leaves Wright State with 11 sports, six for women and five for men.

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The elimination of the programs is part of a larger Wright State budget plan designed to stabilize operations as enrollment has declined. The COVID-19 pandemic “has accelerated the need for all areas of the university to reduce expenditures,” according to a university message today.

At least $2 million of that will come from the operating budget of the athletics department.

“This is extremely difficult because of our strong belief that athletics is an integral part of the educational work we do at Wright State — the education of the whole person,” Wright State Director of Athletics Bob Grant said in the release. “This affects the lives of students who make up a group of some of the highest achievers on this campus. A group that is achieving at record levels academically, giving back to the community, and is strongly engaged with the university.”

The announcement comes during a spring that has seen a number of colleges athletic programs dropped across the nation and locally.

Sinclair Community College announced in May it was suspending its sports programs for the 2020-21 season. The University of Cincinnati discontinued its men's soccer program in April. Urbana University closed its doors in May, forcing its athletes to find new homes.

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