AUSTIN, Texas - St. Edward's University is cutting six athletic programs at the end of the spring semester due to the COVID-19 outbreak and it's not sitting well some of the coaches and players.
Just a month after the conference canceled the season for all spring sports, St. Edward's cut men's and women's tennis, men's and women's golf and men's soccerr as well as having cheer transitioning to a club team.
The university says it's making "difficult but financially sound decisions for the future of our institution."
Two of the affected student-athletes, golfers Nico Ciavaglia and Carlos Tercero, say they felt like if there were problems before that if they had been addressed then there could maybe have been some solutions to avoid the current scenario.
Tercero says they didn't know why these particular sports were chosen so they started a petition on Change.org. The petition is now close to getting 15,000 signatures as of April 20.
"I am deeply grateful to the coaches who have worked diligently over the years to build nationally recognized and well-respected programs. The coaches and student-athletes in these programs are talented and hard-working, and I respect them immensely," said Debbie Taylor, associate vice president for Athletics. "As we make this difficult transition, I know that all of our coaches and staff members have our student-athletes as a top priority and will work closely with them to support their needs."
All impacted scholarship-eligible student-athletes will have their scholarships honored for the duration of their undergraduate enrollment at St. Edward's. Those wishing to transfer and compete at another institution will be given their full and immediate release, says the university.
St. Edward's University says the decision follows a comprehensive evaluation of the athletics program including sport sponsorship, state of available facilities, cost of running programs and future enrollment expectations. The cuts allow the university to redistribute financial resources and allows the university to continue programing for: men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's track, women's soccer, volleyball, baseball, softball and esports.
The university's athletics program will remain in compliance with NCAA DII and Lone Star Conference membership requirements of sport sponsorship with the remaining teams.
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