Barta blames COVID-19 for decision to cut sports | Iowa

Barta said there was “no good answer’’ to the question of how the four programs were chosen to be cut.

Several sports beyond the ones eventually cut were considered.

A list of 12 criteria was used to measure each, including NCAA and Iowa high school sponsorship of the sports, the history of the sports at Iowa, what does the future look like within the sport and the investment required to achieve competitive excellence.

“You can start to go down all these different roads,’’ he said. “In the end, whatever I came up with, whatever we came up with, you could make the case that we shouldn’t have cut this one, or we should have cut that one instead. We ended up cutting the sports we felt were going to put us in the best position once this pandemic is all over.’’

Barta said there are no plans to cut additional sports, but said he had little hope of sports being eliminated being restored at some point in the future.

“The hole that’s been dug by our current financial situation is very, very deep,’’ Barta said. “We do have a plan forward, but we’re not going to flip a switch overnight. The numbers are staggering.’’

Since 2007, the Iowa athletic department has been self-sustaining at the direction of the Iowa Board of Regents, relying on no tax dollars. Barta said that will remain the case as the department works to recover from the current situation.

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