The athletic department of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is cutting eight teams, including men and women’s ice hockey and gymnastics, skiing, competitive pistol, golf, and wrestling to save $1.5 million. Students and coaches feel disappointment, as well as uncertainty about how cuts will affect the school’s top national rankings.
Students and faculty alike have expressed concern that the programs contribute to the prestige and admissions totals at the school—which, in the long run, earns them funding and alumni donations. Together, these factors influence the school’s national rankings—which have always placed MIT as one of the nation’s top institutions. Anticipating cuts, MIT students held protests and held fund-raisers in attempts to avert program cuts, but the programs were dropped to relieve the budget of the athletic department.
Prior to cuts, MIT’s athletic department supported 41 teams. While the student body feels overall disappointed about the cuts, the school responds that even under the brightest economic conditions, budget-wise, 41 teams were difficult to maintain. In addition, leadership asserts that the cuts will strengthen the remaining 33 teams.