Missouri St. looks to eliminate programs

Friday, December 9, 2005

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Missouri State University President Michael T. Nietzel will make recommendations to the Board of Governors on Dec. 16 about which sport programs should be cut to keep costs under control, the state's second-largest university system said Thursday.

Nietzel is considering three recommendations from an athletics committee that was asked to find ways to trim the school's offering of 21 intercollegiate athletics programs.

"The reality is that the university's subsidy to intercollegiate athletics will likely decrease in the future, while the cost of the program, especially in scholarships, will increase," Nietzel said in a written statement.

"Simply put, we are no different than any of the other schools in our conference on this score -- we cannot afford to sustain 21 sports and be successful in all of them," he said.

Under all three variants proposed by the athletics committee, Missouri State would cut men's indoor track, men's outdoor track and men's cross country.

The variations involve whether to also cut men's and women's tennis.

Nietzel said the current intercollegiate athletics budget is approximately $11.1 million, with about $5.1 million coming from the university's general fund. The rest is raised from outside donors and sponsors.

Nietzel said that with student fees likely to increase and state funding likely to decrease or at least remain flat, the school could not allow its share of the athletics budget to continue increasing.

All 21 sports will complete their seasons for 2005-06 and all existing scholarship commitments will be honored through each students individual eligibility period, Nietzel said.

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