Only months after the University of Northern Iowa dropped its baseball program, fellow Missouri Valley Conference school Indiana State is dropping its men's and women's tennis teams.
(Insert the joke about dropping the Sycamores' futility laden foorball team here.)
It's all a cost-cutting move for a state school, like many other state schools, trying to make a dollar outta 15 cents.
Meanwhile, the University of Illinois is considering handing men's basketball coach Bruce Weber a 50 percent raise.
Welcome to the new America.
Does a 3-18 record for the men's team and an 8-12 mark for the women's team play a factor? Sure. It must be hard to justify keeping a fledgling non-revenue athletic program to the board of trustees of a public university that is exhausting every avenue for a buck. But it is really hard to not think about the student-athletes.
Unlike power conference student-athletes in basketball and football (and to a lesser extent, baseball), the rest of the student-athlete body goes pro in something other than sports. For the kids playing NCAA tennis, the sport is just a way to ease the financial pinch of affording college life. On a smaller scale, in tennis, a scholarship to Indiana State to play tennis is a kid's free ride to a better life in the United States of America.
With the economy struggling the way it is, I am surprised more mid-major schools are not cutting non-revenue programs. And yes, these kids will get the opportunity to pursue their educations elsewhere and will get a portion of their remaining scholarships paid for. But if cost-cutting is ocurring across the board, where are they going to go.
And if any of them are reading this, I say go out to Southern Cal because Tim Floyd (allegedly) has some dough to throw around.
Indiana State Announces The Suspension Of Men's And Women's Tennis Programs [GoSycamores.Com]