Changes Proposed to UNM Athletics
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|Letter from President Stokes
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — In a comprehensive effort to right-size its Athletics Department due to budgetary, Title IX and Mountain West Conference alignment considerations, University of New Mexico President Garnett S. Stokes and Director of Athletics Eddie Nuñez released a series of recommendations for Board of Regents’ approval. The proposal, a result of a Board directive in April to reduce a budget deficit, includes recommendations for new revenue opportunities, expense cutting measures and a reduction in the number of varsity sports programs.
Stokes and Nuñez formally presented the recommendations to the UNM Board of Regents for approval at a special meeting Thursday, July 19 at 9 a.m. in Student Union Ballrooms B & C. The proposal was passed unanimously 6-0 by the Board of Regents on Thursday afternoon.
“The University is faced with very difficult decisions and tough choices, but we must act now to ensure the long-term stability of Lobo Athletics,” said Stokes. “Regrettably, the recommendations do include a reduction in sports, the least desirable measure but one that will help alleviate our financial concerns and work towards outing us in compliance with federal law.”
Men’s and women’s skiing, men’s soccer and beach volleyball are the four sports slated to be discontinued effective July 1, 2019. UNM will honor the scholarships of the affected student-athletes through their graduation. In addition, UNM is recommending a roster management plan be instituted for men’s cross country, men’s indoor and outdoor track, and the modification of the swimming and diving program, phasing out diving.
“Our student athletes are talented, dedicated young men and women,” said Stokes. “The recommendation to discontinue sports weighs heavily on me.” Division I sports dropped over last 10 years, 2007-08 through 2016-17 (last year of available data per the NCAA)
|Sport||Programs Dropped||Net Gain/Loss|
|Sport||Programs Dropped||Net Gain/Loss|
The University of New Mexico: Sport Sponsorship History
1983 – The AIAW (Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women) is folded into the NCAA, merging all college athletic teams at UNM under one national organization. The university at the time sponsors 24 sports, 13 for men, and 11 for women. For men, the university sponsors football, soccer, cross country, gymnastics, wrestling, swimming and diving, basketball, indoor track and field, skiing, outdoor track and field, baseball, tennis and golf. For women, it sponsors cross country, volleyball, gymnastics, swimming and diving, basketball, indoor track and field, skiing, outdoor track and field, softball, tennis and golf.
1987 – Women’s Basketball, women’s swimming and diving, wrestling and baseball eliminated. All were reinstated shortly afterwards, except for women’s basketball, putting UNM at 23 sports.
1991 – Women’s Basketball reinstated at UNM’s 24th sport
1993 – Women’s Gymnastics is eliminated, but Women’s Soccer is added, keeping UNM at 24 sports.
1999 – Men’s gymnastics, men’s swimming and diving and wrestling eliminated, dropping UNM from 24 sports to 21.
2014 – Beach Volleyball added as UNM’s 22nd sport
2017 – Men’s and Women’s Skiing is dropped, putting UNM at 20 sports (April 13)
2017 – Men’s and Women’s Skiing Reinstated, pushing UNM back to 22 sports (May 12)
2019 – Men’s and Women’s Skiing, Beach Volleyball and Men’s Soccer are dropped, putting UNM at 18 sports.
Mountain West Breakdown of Sports for 2018-19
|San Diego State||6||13||19|
|San José State||8||13||21|
Average sports per Mountain West institution (eliminating Air Force and UNM): 18.1
Average sports per Mountain West institution (including Air Force and UNM): 19.5
Average men’s sports offerings in Mountain West (eliminating Air Force and UNM): 7.0
Average men’s sports offerings in Mountain West (including Air Force and UNM): 8.3
Average women’s sports offerings in Mountain West (eliminating Air Force and UNM): 11.1
Average women’s sports offerings in Mountain West (including Air Force and UNM): 11.2