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The decision to eliminate 11 of 36 varsity sports at Stanford is a fundamental shift for the University and deserves more attention from all alumni.

We are 36 Sports Strong, a group of alumni representing all 36 of Stanford’s varsity teams. Our members have won collegiate, national, world and Olympic championships. We have played professionally in the NFL, MLB, NBA, WNBA, MLS, NWLS and LPGA. Many of us are Stanford Hall-of-Famers. We’ve been proud to represent Stanford throughout our careers.

We were stunned by this decision because we love Stanford and this changes how we view Stanford. We are asking the university to reconsider.

The impact of the cuts is being felt not only by the 4,000 alumni of the 11 teams but also by more than 40,000 alumni of the greater Stanford athletic community.

The decision upends the Stanford experience for 240 current student-athletes and their coaches, who were told they were losing their teams 30 minutes before it was publicly announced. Like us, these athletes chose Stanford for the unique opportunity it offered to be a true scholar-athlete—competing at the highest level while pursuing a world-class education.

We all recognize the importance of athletics to our Stanford education and disagree with this decision based on how it was made and communicated.

This precipitous action was not based on values Stanford Athletics has demonstrated over decades, including our commitment to Title IX and our 25 consecutive Director’s Cup wins—an honor that recognizes the breadth of our athletics programs. 

If it stands, Stanford will have cut nearly a third of its teams—programs that have produced 48 Olympians, 27 Olympic medals and 20 national championships.

We wish the university had reached out to us in advance of the announcement to discuss its financial challenges and to explore possible solutions. We could have helped. We still can.

We join together, 36 Sports Strong, to engage with Stanford’s leaders in an effort to remedy this situation.

 

Sincerely, 

 

36 Sports Strong

Women's Basketball
Jennifer Azzi
Olympic and World Champion

Men's Basketball 
Adam Keefe
NBA Veteran, 2-Sport Stanford athlete

 

Jarron Collins
NBA Veteran, coach

Josh Childress

NBA Veteran

Football
Andrew Luck
4-time NFL Pro Bowler

Cory Booker

U.S. Senator

Jake Bailey
NFL Pro Bowler

Women's Soccer
Julie Foudy
Olympic and World Cup Champion

Kelley O'Hara
Olympic and World Cup Champion

Dena Evans

2-Sport Athlete, former Stanford track and field coach

Baseball
Mike Mussina, 
MLB Hall of Famer

Women's Beach Volleyball
Kerri Walsh Jennings
Olympic and World Champion

Women's Golf
Michelle Wie
LPGA Tour Champion

Women's Swimming and Diving
Janet Evans
Olympic and World Champion

 

Summer Sanders
Olympic and World Champion

 

Kassidy Cook
Olympian

 

Women's Volleyball
Foluke Akinradewo
Olympian, World Champion

Kristin Klein Keefe
Olympian, World Champion

Men's Tennis
Mike Bryan
Olympic and Grand Slam Champion

Bob Bryan
Olympic and Grand Slam Champion

Alex O'Brien
Olympian, Grand Slam Champion

 

Women's Tennis
Kathy Jordan
Grand Slam Champion

Patty Fendick

Grand Slam Champion

Softball
Jessica Mendoza
Olympian

 

Men's Fencing
Alex Massialas
Olympian, National Champion

 

Women's Water Polo
Maggie Steffens
Olympic and World Champion

Men's Water Polo
Tony Azevedo
Olympian

Peter Hudnut
Olympian

 

Peter Varellas
Olympian

Wolf Wigo

World Champion, Olympian

Men's Swimming and Diving
Anthony Mosse
Olympian

John Moffet

Olympian

Mike Bruner
Olympic and World Champion

Jay Mortenson
Olympic Champion

 

Tom Wong

2-Sport Stanford Athlete

Field Hockey
Nancy Lippe
Olympian

Kathy Levinson
3-Sport Stanford Athlete

Men's Soccer
Jordan Morris
U.S. National Team Member

Men's Volleyball
Scott Fortune
Olympic Champion

Kevin Hansen
Olympic Champion

Gabe Gardner

Olympic Champion

Erik Shoji
Olympian

Kawiki Shoji
Olympian

Matt Fuerbringer
All-American

Women's Fencing
Iris Zimmerman
Olympian, World Champion

Vivian Kong
Olympian

 

Men's Rowing
Austin Hack
Olympian

Jacob Cornelius
Olympian

Nathalie Weiss

Synchronized Swimming
Heather Olson
Olympian

Morgan Fuller Kolsrud

National Champion and National Team Member

Men's Gymnastics
Sho Nakamori
National champion

Women's Sailing
Helena Scutt
Olympian

 

Men's Track and Field
Steve Solomon
Olympian

Women's Gymnastics
Kerri Strug
Olympic Champion

Nicole Luck
World Champion

Co-ed Sailing
Luke Muller
Olympic qualifier

Wrestling
Robert Hatta

Patricia Miranda
Olympian

Shawn Harmon

Women's Lacrosse
Lucy Dikeou
U.S. National Team Member

Men's Cross Country
Cameron Miller

Women's Cross Country
Elise Cranny
All-American

Women's Track and Field
Rebecca Mehra
All-American, Olympic hopeful

Men's Golf
David Boote

Women's Lightweight Rowing
Christine Cavallo
National Champion, Olympic hopeful


Women's Rowing
Chierika Ukogu
Olympian

Women's Squash
Casey Wong
All-American

Madeleine Gill