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State budget cuts strike down 5 UC Irvine sports

July 29, 2009 |  5:21 pm

UC Irvine announced today it was "discontinuing" five sports -- men's and women's swimming and diving, men's and women's rowing, and sailing -- to cut costs.

And we can expect to learn about similar plans at colleges, junior colleges and high schools across the state in coming months as schools struggle with reductions in state funding.

Irvine expects to save about $1 million with this move and other adjustments being made to its athletic program's operating expenses.

"I was hoping to avoid discontinuing any of our sports programs, but the intercollegiate athletics department is not immune to the cuts that are occurring in the state and on our campus," Irvine Athletic Director Mike Izzi said in a statement released by the school. "The impact this has on these coaches and student-athletes is something that none of us wishes to see, but the reality is that this type of move is unavoidable with the financial challenges that we face."

Irvine will honor its scholarship commitments to student-athletes from the affected sports during the 2009-10 academic year, the school said.

-- Mike Hiserman