Colleges cutting men’s gymnastics


The Catalyst / Sanjeri

Male gymnast performing a handstand on a pommel horse.

According to CBS News, the University of Minnesota has taken million dollar losses in budget due to the current pandemic, resulting in the university’s decision to cut ‘secondary sports’, such as men’s gymnastics, that do not make as much revenue. However, men’s gymnastics was not the only ‘secondary sport’ that was cut, including men’s swimming, tennis, squash, and golf.

Mike Burns, coach of the men’s gymnastics team at U of M, shared that he and his gymnasts were at practice when every phone in the room began to erratically buzz simultaneously. Coach Burn picked up his phone and saw the text he received.

“We had a text message at about 1:20 p.m. And it said, ‘You need to be on a Zoom call at 2:00 p.m,’ ” Burns recalled as he remembered this moment vividly.

On the zoom call, Burns and his gymnasts were informed that the men’s gymnastic’s program had been cut due to budget cuts as a result of COVID-19. By the end of 2021, the number of men’s gymnastic’s team had been cut down to 13 nation-wide. This left Coach Burns unemployed and his gymnasts to stay home for the rest of the season and moving forward until further notice.

Shane Wiskus, former star gymnast of the men’s gymnastics team at U of M, shared his thoughts on his school’s recent decision to cut this sports program.

“I do not regret coming to the University of Minnesota one bit. But I’m still mad about their decision,” Wiskus said.

Burn called U of M’s decision to cut men’s gymnastics due to budget cuts in result of COVID as an excuse.

“I think every athletic director who’s dropping programs is using the COVID pandemic as an excuse. There’s financial issues everywhere, I get it,” Burns spoke candidly.

However, interestingly enough, the women’s gymnastics team at the University of Minnesota still stands and continues to see and compete in their 2021 season.

Although this decision made by athletic directors to cut this men’s sport did not anger gymnast Wiskus into regretting his decision to attend U of M, this decision might sit differently with prospective students and male athletes. This decision forever changes the reputation of the University of Minnesota.

Whether COVID-19 was an excuse to carry out the strategic ploy of plotting Athletics Directions to finally rid the school of men’s gymnastics, or a simple budget cut, is up for the reader to decide.