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The MAC Belt Tightens, Akron cuts sports

Akron v Tulane Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

The cancellation of March Madness left the NCAA with a big hole in their budget and that got passed on to the colleges when the organizations remittance to athletic departments was only a fraction of what it was expected to send out.

Mid Majors are perhaps in the worst position to take the hit, and the MAC is trying to be proactive in cost cutting for departments.

If you missed the fanshot up up by “Bulls and Bills”, here’s what the MAC is trying to do.

  • There will be no conference tournaments for the following sports : Baseball, softball, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s tennis field hockey and women’s lacrosse. The regular season champion will represent the conference in the NCAA championships.
  • Mens and Womens basketball are going to drop the campus round and instead send the top eight teams straight to Cleveland for the MAC basketball tournament. They will also drop divisions and go to a 20 game conference schedule.

In terms of Buffalo there is not a ton of impact here. UB does not field baseball, field hockey, lacrosse, or mens soccer.

This is still probably not going to be enough, as shown by Akron who has cut three sports to try and stay afloat.

The Zips are dropping men’s cross country, the men’s golf team and women’s tennis. The move reduces Akron’s athletics department to 16 sports, 15 or more are required currently to stay in the Bowl Subdivision.

While watching Akron take this shot is jarring the Zips should not be considered to be the canary in the coal mine. Akron’s budget troubles are longstanding and run across the entire university.

If this cut was going to destroy anyone in the MAC, Akron is up there for the team most likely to get hurt.

Buffalo is just as vulnerable as the better MAC athletic departments. The School took a hit several years ago and dropped several sports to compensate, they don’t have the room to cut sports like Akron did.