As any Prefrosh can tell you, Harvard’s 41 varsity teams are the most of any school in the nation. Despite that, Harvard had the second-lowest athletic budget of any other school in the Ancient Eight last year, with expenditures coming in around $18 million.
Only Brown spent less than the Crimson. Despite having the third-most teams in the Ivy League, the Bears doled out just $15 million between July 1, 2009, and June 30, 2010. Needless to say, Brown had funding issues, with head coaches receiving an average salary of just $63,618, a full 22 percent, or $18,170, less than the Ancient Eight average.
To ensure “more sustainable support for varsity teams,” Brown’s Athletics Review Committee has suggested a series of changes, including increasing the overall athletic budget increase and cutting four varsity teams: men’s wrestling, men’s and women’s fencing, and women’s skiing.
The committee’s report gave reasons for specific reasons for cutting each of these teams. For fencing, the costs of remaking the program into a competitive entity are prohibitive. The school cannot provide adequate practice grounds for the skiing team, the report contends. Finally, wrestling is quite expensive and isn’t a sport offered at all of the Ivies.
But to remain gender equity as demanded by Title IX, the Athletics Department would have to promote one women’s team from club status to the varsity level.
The committee hopes that a combination of raising the total athletic budget and cutting three teams will increase the budgets by 10 percent for the 34 teams left.
The Committee’s other recommendations include reducing the number of recruited athletes by 13% and updating athletic facilities and creating new ones.
If passed by Brown President Ruth Simmons, these changes could kick in as early as next fall.