TPS Sports Hit Hard By Budget Cuts

Tuesday, May 23rd 2017, 7:39 pm

Athletic fields and gyms at Tulsa Public Schools will look decidedly different next season.

An overall budget reduction for the school district has hit sports hard, according to district athletic director Gil Cloud. Some 45 programs over the nine high schools will be suspended for at least the coming year.

"There were the programs that were under-participated in, or not participated in at all, so it affected the fewest number of student-athletes that were involved there,” Cloud explained.

Among the sports hardest hit are golf, tennis and swimming.

Booker T. Washington, Edison and Memorial will field the only golf teams in the district next year. Tennis will be played at those three as well as East central, and swimming will be contested at just Booker T. and Memorial.

Cloud said two of the most difficult decisions were Memorial and Booker T. wrestling; both teams had 12 wrestlers, just shy of a full roster.

"We made that recommendation based on recommendations from the school site,” he said. “In every one of these cases, I spoke with the athletic director and the principal."

Cloud also stressed every school will play football and boys and girls basketball, soccer, track and cross country next year, and should the final budget cuts not be as extreme as expected, some programs could be reinstated.