PALO ALTO, Calif. - Student athletes at Stanford University are demanding the school reinstate 11 sports after the school announced the sports would be dropped.
Some student athletes gathered at the school Monday to say they want to keep playing. The school announced last summer that it intended to cut the sports as a cost cutting measure. The student athletes tell said they are hoping for a buzzer beating decision that would save their sports at Monday's board of trustees meeting.
The on-campus gathering of athletes and their supporters was in hopes of saving the sports currently set to be dropped at the end of this academic year.
The university announced last July that the sports, including wresting and synchronized swimming, would end after this academic year due to budget issues made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over the course of the year the synchronized swimming team went on to win a national championship, and while one swimmer said she is proud of that achievement, she still remembers the devastation of learning this may be the last year she swims for her school.
"The fact that Stanford's commitment to student athletics and for the synchro team was not fulfilled was heartbreaking," said Emmanuella Tchakmakjian a Stanford University Student Athlete.
In all, the cuts would impact about 240 students and nearly two dozen coaches and staff.
Wrestlers said the decision to cut their sport feels like a broken promise.
"They kind of sold us on that we were going to be building a really big thing for Stanford wrestling, and then on July 8th, when we got that phone call, I was devastated, and very very shocked,' said Jason Miranda another Stanford University Student Athlete.
An advocacy group made up of students and alumni say they're hoping the board of trustees will reconsider and look for alternative ways to fund all of the school’s sports programs.
"Seeing Stanford synchro win their national title, and men's gymnastics win their national title, and conference titles, it proves that we don't need the finances that they say we need in order to be competitively excellent," said Miranda.
KTVU received a statement from the university reading: "Stanford is following its process for matters that come before the university's board of trustees. As previously stated, the board is meeting to consider the petition and provide input to Stanford management. The final decision will be rendered by the president and provost in the coming weeks."