Earlier this week, the UVM athletic department announced its plans for cutting back certain division one teams in an attempt to “refinance.” This came as a surprise to the five teams that include men’s basketball, men’s and hockey, and baseball.
“Hockey has been lack luster,” commented a member of the department when asked why such drastic cuts were necessary. The men’s hockey team went 9-22-4 this season. Due to several consecutive losing streaks, the funding has been cut and relocated toward other winning teams.
As for the baseball team, it seemed snow was the issue draining the department financially. The 4-11 record so far this season made the decision final. “We were half and half about cutting back baseball, but the way things are looking this season so far, its time to cut them loose,” explained a high profile athletic department administrator. As a member of the “Keep Vermont Sport’s Green” committee, he explained the trials and tribulations of keeping the fields free of snow cost more than the team was making for UVM.
The men’s basketball team cutbacks were by far the biggest surprise. As the two-time American-East champions, it seemed that such a move on the part of the athletic department would be foolhardy at best. The reasons for the removal of the teams were ambiguous, but it seemed the department was unhappy with the performance of the Catamounts in the NCAA Championship.
Despite the appearance of the team in the tournament two consecutive years now, both being the only two in Catamount history, the department felt their performance against UCONN was, “an embarrassment.”
“When I called my parents and told them the news, they just started crying,” explained a member of the baseball team to the Vermont Cynic. “Their dreams of me becoming a major league baseball player have been dashed by the athletic department. They used all their money to send me to UVM. Now, I have to drop out of school and work in my father’s chop shop.”
It is obvious that the UVM athletic department has ignored the human aspect of these cuts and focused solely on the financial. When the issue of people’s lives being ruined so that UVM could save a few bucks the head of the department callously said, “they’ll get over it, next question.”
While certain teams are down and out, others are up and coming as a result of the decision. For example, both the men’s and women’s tennis teams will be receiving what the department has called, “necessary team jets.”
Also, the department is in talks for purchasing Burlington Country Club so that the golf team will have a place to practice and host tournaments.
“Three olympic sized swimming pools is a lot more than we need, but I’m not complaining,” explained a member of the swim team in regards to the athletic department’s plans to replace the former basketballs teams courts with three olympic swimming pools in the Patrick Gym.