Wednesday, December 11, 2013

When will Villanova follow Temple's lead?

Earlier this week, I made fun of/excoriated Temple for making the announcement that they would be dropping seven sports effective this July. I did hold back a little bit, because it was a reflection of one of my biggest fears when it comes to Villanova: That their non-revenue sports are not going to be sustainable forever. With a football team that draws 7,000 people and consistently loses millions of dollars a season, Villanova will eventually face a time when they have to address that they sponsor a lot of sports despite having only one real revenue producing sports team.

As was shown in 1981, dropping football is simply not an option, because that sport has far too many stakeholders to do anything with. There is a chance that they could downsize and go to a non-scholarship model, which seems out of character given the school's desire to remain competitive in football.

The most likely athletic department move would be to eliminate the Olympic sports. While I would like to think that track and field, my favorite Villanova sport is a sacred cow, I simply am not educated enough on the matter to say this definitively. Baseball has been uncompetitive for years, but it is one of Villanova's oldest sports. Soccer has just begun to be competitive in recent years on both the men's and the women's sides, so I think that is out the window as well. This brings us to tennis, rowing, and golf, somewhat uncompetitive sports which are probably the most likely sports to go if/when Villanova makes a move.

Unfortunately, I think it's a matter of when rather than if.

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