UNM Regents vote to cut four sports programs | KOB 4
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UNM Regents vote to cut four sports programs

Marian Camacho and Patrick Hayes
July 22, 2018 04:40 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - UNM's Board of Regents has unanimously approved the recommendation to cut four sports, as the university faces a budget shortfall and needs to meet Title IX requirements.

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Men's and women's skiing, men's soccer and beach volleyball will all be cut after the 2018-2019 season.

Hundreds filled UNM's Student Union Building at 9 a.m. Thursday and made a plea for the sports to be saved. More than two-and-a-half hours of public comment was heard, including impassioned pleas from coaches and students.

"So 44 percent of student-athletes are women. By taking away women's sports to add more women to existing sports is counter-intuitive," said a student-athlete.

UNM President Garnett Stokes and UNM Athletic Director Eddie Nuñez took to the podium to lay out the recommendations that were officially released Wednesday afternoon. 

"It's about doing the right thing for Lobo athletics," UNM President Stokes told the Board of Regents. 

The university currently sponsors 22 sports. However, first-year athletic director Eddie Nuñez proposed cutting four of them, including men's and women's skiing, men's soccer and beach volleyball, as well as phasing out the diving portion of the swim team.

MORE: How did UNM get here?

ALSO: Soccer coach, players react to UNM dropping men's program

AND: Beach volleyball players plan to fight for team

Nunez blamed poor ticket sales, a lack of fundraising and a previously mismanaged budget for the reasoning behind the cuts.

Stokes claims the cuts made Thursday will save other programs down the line.

"A failure to act now, to address the financial and equity concerns will jeopardize all of our athletic program, cripple and further damage a department that has struggled with trust and accountability," Stokes said.

UNM says it will "honor the scholarships of the affected student-athletes through their graduation."

The programs will be discontinued as of July 1, 2019.

Click here to see the UNM Athletics Analysis and Review.

Credits

Marian Camacho and Patrick Hayes

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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