Stanford reverses decision, to keep men’s volleyball program

Photo courtesy of Stanford athletics

The ultimate match-point was fought off and Stanford men’s volleyball will be back on the court once more.

The university’s leadership announced Tuesday that it reversed its decision to eliminate the men’s volleyball program along with 10 other varsity sports.

Stanford initially opted last year in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic to eliminate 11 of its 36 sports at the end of the 2020-21 school year because of a projected budget deficit in the upcoming years. The announcement to eliminate these sports, though, spurred an increase in financial donations that resulted in reversing the decision to end the programs.

“We have new optimism based on new circumstances, including vigorous and broad-based philanthropic interest in Stanford athletics on the part of our alumni, which have convinced us that raising the increased funds necessary to support all 36 of our varsity teams is an approach that can succeed,” Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne said in a statement.


While all the varsity sports will return next school year, university leadership stated in a letter to the community that the athletics department will need a successful fundraising campaign to ensure the future retention of all the programs.

“We will need to ask for the support of the Cardinal faithful like never before,” Tessier-Lavigne, Provost Persis Drell and athletics director Bernard Muir stated in the letter.

The men’s volleyball team was among the successful programs Stanford had initially slated to eliminate.

The Cardinal won the national championship in 1997 and 2010 and has reached the NCAA Tournament finals five times. In addition, Stanford throughout its program history has been ranked in the top five of the national coaches poll 205 times.

Along with its team success, Stanford has produced 11 players who later played from the United States in the Olympics.

Stanford with a limited roster in the 2021 because of the program’s uncertain future and the coronavirus pandemic ended the season 3-14 and advanced to the MPSF Tournament quarterfinals.