Umass Dartmouth has announced the discontinuation of eight athletic programs, effective immediately.
The programs included are women’s equestrian, men’s golf, men’s lacrosse, co-ed sailing, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, and men’s and women’s tennis.
The university has said they will provide support and advice to the 94 affected student athletes.
“Although these changes will serve UMass Dartmouth Athletics and its student body well for years to come, I cannot begin to imagine the sense of loss our student-athletes must feel at this moment,” Outgoing Chancellor Robert E. Johnson said. “I want them to know that this decision in no way reflects their tremendous contribution to our University,”
“It is because of these contributions - not just on the field - but in the classrooms, labs, and in the community that makes our student-athletes such valuable members of our community,” he continued.
There have been multiple reviews over the past decade analyzing major aspects of the current Department of Athletics & Recreation structure including available resources, gender equity, enrollment, full-time/part-time coaches, sports sponsorship trends, facilities as well as strengths and weaknesses of each program.
“Though the review and subsequent actions taken on the future of intercollegiate athletics was needed, I am deeply saddened by having to discontinue sponsorship of these programs,” Athletic Director Amanda Van Voorhis said. “The implementation of this action now will allow our department to work within a sustainable financial model going forward, and we will continue to provide the best possible experience for our student-athletes.”
The savings through cutting these 8 programs will be allocated into reinvesting into the department and the remaining 17 programs.
“We realize how difficult this decision is, but I want to reaffirm our commitment to athletics and student-athletes at UMass Dartmouth,” Vice Chancellor for Administration & Finance David Gingerella said. “This is not a cost-cutting measure, it is a re-allocation of resources within Athletics for future success,”
“In the end, the University believes this will set a course for intercollegiate athletics going forward that is similar and consistent with our peer institutions,” he continued.
It should be noted this process began well before the current pandemic and has nothing to do with the current health crisis.