Mary Butler of Brown University brings the ball up the court during a game in 2018. The school, based in Providence, R.I., announced Thursday that it is cutting nine varsity sports to enhance competitiveness. Basketball is not among the sports to be eliminated. (David Silverman Photo) Credit: David Silverman

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Brown University will reduce its number of varsity sports from 38 to 29 in a move designed to make the Bears more competitive in the Ivy League.

University president Christina H. Paxson announced Thursday that the decision was unrelated to the coronovirus outbreak, which has forced schools around the nation to slash athletic budgets.

Varsity sports dropping to club status are men’s and women’s fencing, men’s and women’s golf, women’s skiing, men’s and women’s squash, women’s equestrian and men’s indoor and outdoor track and cross country.

Coed sailing and women’s sailing will be elevated from club to varsity status.

The university said an external review of the athletic program in 2018-19 found the high number of varsity sports was a barrier to competitiveness. In the preceding 10 years, Brown had won only 2.8% of all Ivy League championships, last in the league.

The university said it will maintain its current level of funding for athletics, allowing the remaining varsity teams to receive more resources.