UConn Men and Women: Thrill of Victory, Agony of Defeat?

Connecticut by the Numbers

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As the UConn men’s golf enjoyed the thrill of victory, for the women’s rowing team, the agony of defeat may be drawing closer.

Six years ago, the University of Connecticut posted a promotional video featuring the women’s rowing team, with the tag line “on the rise.” Six years later, to the day, 12 members of the UConn’s women’s rowing team filed a federal Title IX lawsuit in U.S. District Courant, calling on the university to reinstate their team, which UConn decided to eliminate after this season due to budget constraints. A second video, that same year, pointed out that “UConn rowing is about passion and dedication.” UConn rowing alumni filed a Title IX complaint with the Office of Civil Rights earlier this year, after the University decided it could no longer afford to continue the sport.

Also in the news this week was the UConn men’s golf team, which was reportedly under consideration for elimination a year ago. It was not given the ax, and this week the team become Big East champions, earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament in the sport.

Last June, the university announced it would end men’s cross country, men’s swimming and diving, men’s tennis and women’s rowing, as the university’s budget was reeling from the impact of COVID-19, among other contributing factors.

A year later, the decision stands, but the landscape appears to have changed.

The UConn Board of Trustees this week unanimously approved a $70 million budget to construct a new on-campus hockey arena, with a projected seating capacity just under 3,000. According to published reports, UConn plans on continuing to play most men’s hockey games at the XL Center in Hartford, while all of the women’s hockey team’s games are slated for the new arena.

University officials also told the Board of Trustees this week that a balanced budget is expected in the coming year, aided in part by $27 million in assistance from the federal government as part of the American Rescue Plan recently approved by Congress, and $10 million allocated by the state from funds that the state is receiving from that Plan. UConn is said to have lost $110 million due to the pandemic this past year.

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