When Eastern Michigan University decided to drop four sports, the decision came as quite a surprise for many reasons. While we blame technology and social media for many irritants in life, a positive has been exposing alarming details in situations when adults fail the people they are supposed to support. Similar to the alarming golden parachute the resigning Michigan State President received, high-level administration officials at these PUBLIC institutions are paid absurd amounts and too often mismanage resources. When the resources are mismanaged, it isn't the administration that takes the hit. It's the students that they are supposed to support that suffer.
The first alarm with Wrestling should always be the cost. Whether it is a collegiate or high school program, the cost is incredibly minimal. Many NCAA Division III and NAIA departments have figured out that these teams help drive enrollment with quality student-athletes. It is a financial gain to the colleges. A Wrestling mat on a gym floor is about as minimal as it gets when it comes to sports so any cut of a Wrestling program has politics involved.
The second alarm is this article from March 2017. It is the announcement of $35 million in improvements to athletic facilities including a 22,000 square foot facility that would house Wrestling & Gymnastics. A little over a year later, EMU has stated four programs needed to be cut and they are "hemorrhaging cash" as one Regent put it in a reply to Kevin's email. Not only are they still planning on building many of these facilities, but how can your forecasts for revenue and losses be this bad? We all have that constantly broke friend who talks about buying a new beach house, but this is absurd to come from an academic institution.
Howard Bunsis, an Eastern Michigan Accounting Professor, noticed the errors in calculating losses from Wrestling including the now famous $292,000 in "Game Day Expenses". Well most of that was actually bowl game losses from making the Bahamas Bowl, and EMU corrected the number at $12,000. That number still seems high to Bunsis and he joined Jason Bryant on his podcast to discuss the lack of math sense involved.
Bunsis has the theory that seems to be most applicable in these situations. EMU is facing budget difficulties so athletics needs to give some blood if there will be cuts elsewhere. It's all politics. The problem here is that these decisions will hurt the students they're supposed to support and also EMU. The negative publicity and loss of enrollment will further hurt the university.
These horrible decisions by people in leadership positions is disappointing. The EMU President's house that was built in 2005, currently worth about $10 million, is a much greater reach of greed than any Football team should ever be accused of. Too often "academics" (academic staff) get a free pass as if they have some heroic vocation and deserve such a pedestal. Obviously, the state of Michigan has two institutions right now who need their front offices evaluated like an NFL team that hasn't had a winning record in ten years. Things need to change and the scrutiny and budget downfalls should not be just on the hard-working student-athletes. Let's stop failing the kids, the parents that pay tuition (mine didn't but there are some), and the tax-payers who fund these universities.