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Iowa Freshman Dixit Left Searching After Iowa Cuts Program

Rudra Dixit had been on the University of Iowa campus for less than a week when he found out the men’s tennis program was being cut. He hadn’t even taken a class yet or hit at the tennis facility.

Iowa's Program Got Cut Six Days After Rudra Dixit Arrived
© Fritz Moore

Iowa announced on Friday that men’s tennis was one of four sports programs being disbanded following the 2020-21 academic year as part of the athletic department’s response to a projected loss of $100 million in revenue because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Iowa athletic director Gary Barta said the Big Ten Conference’s decision to postpone football and other fall sports until the spring will create an overall budget deficit between $60-75 million this year.

The Hawkeyes are the 46th tennis program (23 men, 23 women) across all NCAA divisions to be disbanded because of budgetary cuts or school closures associated with the coronavirus pandemic. Iowa is the 20th Division I program cut (11 men, 9 women), and the first men’s program eliminated from a Power 5 conference since Maryland in 2012.

"I never imagined this could happen to us because it's a Power 5 school and they prioritize sports so high,” said Dixit, a three-star recruit from Kansas. “I heard about UConn and all the other schools getting cut and I never figured this was a possibility here at Iowa because it's such a big conference. It almost felt like a safety blanket, but obviously I was proven wrong."

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Page updated on Tuesday, December 01, 2020
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