PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- The board of Temple University in Philadelphia voted Friday to drop seven sports from its intercollegiate program, cutting the number to 17.
Kevin Clark, a Temple vice president and director of athletics, said the decision was made after a seven-month review. He said Temple wanted to make the announcement before the winter break so students on the teams that are being eliminated could discuss their futures with their families.
The men's sports to be dropped for the next school year are baseball, crew, gymnastics, and both outdoor and indoor track & field. Women are losing two sports, softball and rowing.
Temple has never been considered an athletic powerhouse except for men's and women's basketball and crew, a sport that has long been important in Philadelphia.
Most other schools in the American Athletic Conference field between 16 and 19 intercollegiate teams, Temple said.
"Temple does not have the resources to equip, staff and provide a positive competitive experience for 24 varsity sports. Continuing this model does a disservice to our student-athletes," explained Clark. "We need to have the right-sized program to create a sustainable model for Temple University Athletics moving forward."
The university said students with athletic scholarships will keep them. It also said blanket permission had been given for other NCAA schools to discuss transfers with athletes in the sports being cut.
Truman Levine, a sophomore, told WPVI-TV he is relieved to know he will not lose his scholarship for men's crew. He said he plans to stay at Temple and will continue to row on a club team.
"The first thing on my mind is a lot of kids are here for the sole reason of rowing, and a lot of kids are really devastated by not having a team anymore," he said.