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How Temple's sports cuts affected one student's final exam

A Temple freshman was so devastated by the news of her sport being cut, she performed poorly on her final exam.

Temple University Professor Patricia Hansell saw firsthand the impact of the school's decision to cut seven sports, just before final exams.

A freshman athlete — who had been a straight A student all semester — scored well below that on her final exam for the introductory general education course. The student learned late last week that her sport would be cut and took the final on Tuesday.

"She was a mess," said Hansell, a full-time professor in the anthropology department. "Nobody ever thought about what this was going to do to the psyche of these students now that they have exams to take."

When the student turned in the exam, she told Hansell: "This is the worst work I've ever done. I kept studying for the exam. I just couldn't focus."

Citing costs, non-compliance with federal regulations and woeful facilities, the university announced on Dec. 6 that it would eliminate baseball, softball, men's and women's rowing, men's gymnastics and men's indoor and outdoor track and field, effective in June. Officials said at the time that they wanted to give student athletes time over the holiday break to discuss options with friends and family. The students could choose to remain at Temple on scholarship through graduation or transfer to another college without penalty.

As for the freshman athlete?

"She'll end up with a decent grade," Hansell said. "She's fundamentally a really good student."