Citing a projected revenue loss of $75 million, the University of Minnesota announced on Thursday that they will be cutting men’s indoor and outdoor track and field upon the conclusion of the 2020-2021 school year. A formal decision is pending approval by the Board of Regents, but the move is expected to be implemented.
Men’s gymnastics and men’s tennis will also be discontinued, the school announced.
The Gopher men’s track team placed third at the Big Ten Indoor Championships back in February in their last competition before the pandemic wiped out athletics for the previous school year.
Although other men’s track and field programs from Division I schools have previously announced cuts in 2020, Minnesota would be the first from a Power Five conference. The Gophers opened a brand new track and field stadium, the University of Minnesota Track and Field Stadium, less than two years ago.
“This facility represents a new beginning for Minnesota track and field,” Minnesota director of track and field and cross country Matt Bingle said at the time.
The release notes that while the athletic department’s dire financial situation was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the postponement of fall sports by the Big Ten, prior issues— financial and Title IX related— existed that have made supporting 25 varsity sports tenuous going forward.