Stanford considering cutting sports teams

By Janie McCauley

SAN FRANCISCO – Stanford’s athletic department is projecting a $5 million loss in revenue over the next three years and is considering cutting staff and eliminating some sports teams, The Associated Press has learned.

The school is expected to decide in the next 30-60 days on staff cuts, a Stanford employee familiar with the budget issues told the AP on condition of anonymity, as the person is not authorized to discuss the shortfall.

The person also said Tuesday it wasn’t clear which teams, if any, would be considered for elimination – and it likely wouldn’t be until next season at the earliest.

“That’s the last thing they want to consider. They don’t want it to affect student-athletes,” the source said, noting another department was looking to eliminate 50 positions from a staff of about 140. “We do have some serious budget problems. We’re looking at other ways (to save).”

Reducing travel costs was also being discussed.

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Stanford has 35 sports teams: 19 for women, 15 for men and one coed squad.

Last year, the university captured its 14th consecutive Division I U.S. Sports Academy Directors’ Cup, a recognition presented each year to the best overall programs for each athletic division in the country.

Stanford scored points in 24 of its sports but could only count the maximum 10 each on the men’s and women’s sides – earning 12 top-five finishes. The Cardinal won an NCAA title in women’s cross country; placed second in women’s volleyball, women’s basketball, men’s gymnastics and men’s golf; took third in baseball, men’s and women’s swimming, women’s gymnastics and women’s water polo; and placed fifth in women’s indoor track and field and women’s tennis.

The women’s basketball team reached the Final Four for the first time in 11 years and lost in the NCAA title game to two-time defending champion Tennessee.

Stanford announced in December that senior administrators, including the president and provost, would take salary cuts in the wake of the economic downturn. Provost John Etchemendy and President John Hennessy volunteered to reduce their salaries by 10 percent.

University spokeswoman Lisa Lapin said at the time the salary cuts affected about 15 to 20 positions with salaries that start around $250,000. She said Hennessy made about $700,000.