Hawkeyes will not revisit sports cuts despite return of football

Hawkeye Headquarters

The University of Iowa says the Big Ten’s decision to have a fall football season will not impact its decision to eliminate four sports programs.

Iowa Athletic Director Gary Barta last month announced the elimination of men’s and women’s swimming and diving, men’s tennis and men’s gymnastics.

He said the cuts were “100% driven by” the coronavirus pandemic, which caused the postponement of football and tens of millions in lost revenue.

“Were it not for that, we would not be dropping those four sports,” Barta said at an Aug. 24 news conference.

On Wednesday, the Big Ten announced that the conference would have a fall football season beginning in late October.

Some of the athletes spoke to Hawkeye Headquarters late last month. Senior swim captain Sage Ohlensehlen she started a petition that got thousands of signatures. Alumni of the Hawkeye programs that were cut held a news conference to call for their reinstatement.

But the athletics department says the cuts are “final” and have been supported by the Board of Regents.

On August 19, the Big Ten issued a statement that the decision to postpone the 2020-21 fall sports season “won’t be revisited” and we all know how that turned out. (You remember: The Big Ten brought football back yesterday.)

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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