UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Robert E. Johnson announced today the decision to discontinue eight intercollegiate athletic programs, effective immediately.

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 teams will be eliminated. The move affects 94 students. The savings will be reinvested in the remaining 17 athletic programs.

The decision is not related to the coronavirus epidemic,  but came after a decade-long review of intercollegiate athletics "to formulate a long-term strategic plan that would provide the best possible competitive and co-curricular experiences for our student-athletes," the university said in a media release.

Johnson in a statement said he "cannot begin to imagine the sense of loss our student-athletes must feel at this moment" and that he wants them to know "that this decision in no way reflects their tremendous contribution to our University.”

Athletic Director Amanda Van Voorhis said she is "deeply saddened by having to discontinue sponsorship of these programs" but said the action "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 move "is not a cost-cutting measure," said David Gingerella, Vice Chancellor for Administration & Finance. He said instead it is a "re-allocation of resources within Athletics for future success."

UMass Dartmouth will continue to sponsor eight men’s sports and nine women’s sports as members of the Little East Conference, while both the football and ice hockey programs will remain as affiliate members of the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference.

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