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Akron Cuts Sports Team and Cleveland State Adds Sports Team

University of Akron officials announced last week they’re cutting their baseball team in order to help pay off a $60 million deficit. Now the Beacon Journal reports the head of Akron’s faculty Senate wants the school to drop its football team to a lower division to save money. Akron had the worst football attendance in the nation last season. But as StateImpact Ohio’s Mark Urycki reports, one state university found that sports are worth a little extra money.

On the same day Akron announced it was cutting its baseball team, the board of trustees at Cleveland State approved a student fee hike so they can add a sport. CSU doesn't have a football team and next spring it will join Ohio State as the only Division 1 schools in Ohio to field a varsity men’s lacrosse team. How they did it was unusual. Athletic Director John Parry says the school had planned to eliminate its well respected wrestling team 

“That left everything balanced from a budget and participation point of view but clearly was an emotional decision for the wrestlers. The timing was such that literally within the next 2 weeks the students were going to have their annual elections.”

So a referendum was put on the ballot – would you agree to raise your student fees to save the wrestling team and help women’s sports? The students agreed. Now the Vikings will have 10 scholarships for lacrosse and another 10 for women’s cross country, track, and swimming.