UC Riverside Athletics in trouble of being shut down

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher 

The UC Riverside Highlanders could be the first athletic department to be shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. If it happens, it would be the first school to lose their entire athletic department due to the virus. 

Colleges around the country have been hard-hit due to the virus. In fact, there have been many schools, who has had to cut athletic programs. 

UCR Highlanders pitcher Shamus Lyons throwing a pitch in a game in a 2020 contest
Shamus Lyons throwing a pitch in a game in a 2020 contest (Photo by UCR Athletics/Instagram)

Stanford, for an example, announced that they would eliminate 11 athletic programs by the end of the 2020-21 school year. 

UC Riverside has 15 Division I programs that they sponsor. This includes baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis, and track & field in men’s sports. 

The school’s female options include women’s basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field, and volleyball. 

“[Elimination] would put us in the category as the only University of California school to not have sports,” Athletic Director Tamica Smith-Jones said to ESPN. “I don’t think that’s something we want to be known for.”

The school’s resources come from two sources. They are the $18.7 million in institutional support. 

In addition, the school also has $2.3 million in annual student fees. 

The school is expected to lose $32 million in state funds. 

“Those facts don’t leave us in a very optimistic position for the future,” Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox said in a July video about the school’s financial future. “It means we’re going to have to make a lot of very difficult decisions about our operations and how we’re going to manage to support them with fewer and fewer financial resources.”

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