It turns out that my employer, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, not only has varsity sports teams, it has 41 of them. Well, it used to have 41, until pressure to cut spending across the institute led to the elimination of eight different sports teams.
The eliminated sports are: Alpine skiing, golf, men's and women's gymnastics, men's and women's ice hockey, pistol, and wrestling.
In a letter to the MIT community, Costantino Colombo, the Dean for Student Life, writes: "We make this decision with sadness and with great awareness of how painful it will be to many members of the MIT community." Colombo also explains, however, that the financial burden of supporting so many teams has weighed heavily on the Institute since before the economic downturn--mainly because sponsoring 41 sports is simply extremely expensive. According to Colombo, even after the cuts MIT still offers twice as many varsity sports as the average Division III university and will sponsor more sports than any Division III university in the nation.
Cutting sports teams is completely lame, of course, especially for the participating students. That doesn't mean I'm going to just ignore this from Will Hart, MIT's pistol coach:
“We’ve been a varsity club since 1937, so this is something entirely new for us,” Mr. Hart said of the pistol program, one of the top-ranked in the country and one of the institute’s most popular physical education classes.
“M.I.T. has a certain culture,” he added. “The students need release. I hope they find something else that was as close to enjoyable as their sport was.”
This sounds ominous. Do you think it was intentional?