Indiana State to Drop Five Sports, Including Gymnastics Programs
Indiana State University trustees have voted to drop five sports from the school’s athletic program despite opposition from students.
As a result of the decision, recommended by ISU President Richard G. Landini, men’s and women’s gymnastics, men’s and women’s bowling and wrestling will be eliminated in a budget-cutting move.
The trustees voted 6-2 in opposition to a student government campaign against the cuts and also rejected a recent proposal by the United States Gymnastics Federation to subsidize the gymnastics program.
During the board’s hearing last week on the issue, the gymnastics federation had offered substantial aid to ISU if trustees promised to keep gymnastics programs through 1991.
But an ISU administrator who evaluated the offer said “the direct income figures ($75,000) from the gymnastics federation, taken at face value, do not make it possible to anticipate cost reductions in our gymnastics program.”
The university received international attention in recent years as a result of two athletes in sports that will be dropped.
Wrestler Bruce Baumgartner and gymnast Kurt Thomas became world-class champions. Baumgartner won an Olympic gold medal.
John Arends, a spokesman for the gymnastics federation, criticized university officials for basing their opinion “on an incomplete understanding of both the nature of the sport and the events. We feel our proposal was not viewed in a constructive manner and reflects a negative approach to the entire deficit.”
During the board’s meeting, a tearful student begged for “one year to show what we can do to support the programs as students.”