Fresno State will drop lacrosse, men’s tennis and wrestling at the end of the 2020-2021 academic year due to financial challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, the school announced Friday.
“This is an incredibly difficult day for our entire Bulldog Family and one of the most challenging days of my career,” Fresno State athletic director Terry Tumey said in a statement. “Our mission is to holistically serve all of our student-athletes and prepare them for transformative success in competition and, more importantly, in the classroom and in life. So it is with great sadness and heavy hearts that this difficult decision was made.”
The move is expected to save the school, which said it usually operates at an annual deficit of $2.2 million, roughly $2.5 million annually. This year the athletic department expects to run at a $6.6 million loss as a result of not being able to sell tickets to sporting events and other related variables.
Fresno State assigned 23.7 scholarships to the three sports (they were allotted 4.5 in men’s tennis, 9.9 in wrestling, 12 lacrosse, but didn’t use the maximum) and will still have 430 student-athletes on scholarship in 18 sports.
This is the second time Fresno State has dropped its wrestling program. Introduced in 1961-62, the wrestling program was cut in 2006 and began competing again in 2017-18. Fresno State has fielded a men’s tennis team since 1971.