STANFORD, Calif. >> Wrestling, synchronized swimming, men’s volleyball and eight other varsity sports at Stanford that were scheduled to be eliminated will be able to continue because of an improved financial picture, university officials said today.
The university had announced last July that the 11 sports would be cut after the current school year because of a budget deficit in the athletic department.
“We have new optimism based on new circumstances, including vigorous and broad-based philanthropic interest in Stanford Athletics on the part of our alumni, which have convinced us that raising the increased funds necessary to support all 36 of our varsity teams is an approach that can succeed,” university President Marc Tessier-Lavigne said in a statement.
Tessier-Lavigne and other university officials said in a letter announcing the decision that retaining all the school’s teams will require a large-scale fundraising campaign.
Athletic director Bernard Muir said he believes the future is bright for Stanford athletics. “I am thrilled that we have found a way to continue sponsoring these varsity sports, which are an important part of the fabric of this university,” said Muir.
The teams that have been saved also include men’s and women’s fencing, field hockey, lightweight rowing, men’s rowing, coed and women’s sailing and squash.
The 36 Sports Strong group, which includes former university athletes and was involved in a push to save the programs, said school leaders worked with group members to find a way forward for Stanford athletics. “We are grateful for their engagement, and we are looking forward to getting to work with them,” the group said in a statement.