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ON THE SIDELINES : Oral Roberts Cuts Women's Sports

June 28, 1989|From Times Wire Services

TULSA, Okla. — Oral Roberts University, which announced May 2 it is withdrawing from the NCAA, will drop five of its seven women's sports programs and cut salaries in its athletic department to save about $700,000, university officials said today.

Richard Roberts, executive vice president of the school, said he and his father, evangelist Oral Roberts, examined the athletic department and "came very close to closing it down altogether" because of a budget crunch in the ministry.

"We found a way to keep our athletic program and at the same time significantly reduce the cost," Roberts told the Tulsa Tribune. Women's programs in volleyball, swimming, track and field, cross country and soccer have been eliminated. Women's programs in basketball and tennis are being continued.

The university will retain its seven men's sports, although operating expenses will be reduced, said Athletic Director and Basketball Coach Ken Trickey. Roberts said ORU spent about $1,019,000 on athletics during the 1988-89 school year, not including scholarships, and that the department budget for 1989-90 is $320,999, not including scholarships.

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