No sports are in jeopardy of being cut from the South Carolina Athletics program, at the moment, Athletics Director Ray Tanner told reporters during a teleconference late Friday afternoon.
Though Tanner admitted the program has had to be strict with financials and had to implement several cost-cutting measures because of the coronavirus pandemic, the program isn’t immediately considering cutting a sport like several university across the country have.
“There isn’t a timetable. I think you recognize, that across this country, a lot has happened with cost-cutting measures. We have made some cost-cutting measures internally. The campus has as well,” Tanner said. “There’s no question we’re in a period that we have to reduce cost.
“Dropping sports, is that a consideration? It has to be on your list. Is it high on my list? No. Is it one of the things I want to do? No. It’s not an immediate priority.
“As we move through this process, we’re still quite a ways away from September 5th and what a football season might look like.
“There’s no secret that football is the financial engine in the department, so that plays heavily on what happens from a financial standpoint. But there’s still some time in front of us to make some determinations and to understand exactly what the financial pressures are going to be.”
Asked specifically about men’s soccer, Tanner said, “We’ve had men’s soccer for a long time. There’s been some success. We have young people who play the sport who are passionate about it. Coach Mark Berson has been here a long time. It’s more, I think, emotional, than looking at the fact that it’s not an SEC sport. But it’s important to what we do at this university and it’s been here a long time.
“As I said, I hope we’re not in a position that cutting sports is part of our financial process. If it turns out to be that way, it’ll be necessary. But I hope that we can keep our sports intact.”
Tanner said he has not had any conversations with Conference-USA regarding the start of a men's soccer season this year.