St. Francis College Eliminates Athletics Program

The Brooklyn, New York, college is restructuring to adjust for financial losses incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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  • The St. Francis athletics program will continue until the end of the spring 2023 semester.
  • The college will continue to honor all academic and athletic scholarships after the NCAA athletics program ends.
  • Student-athletes can transfer with immediate eligibility to another institution, according to the NCAA transfer guide.

Student-athletes at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, New York, will have to find another school to play sports at after the spring 2023 semester.

St. Francis is eliminating its NCAA Division I athletics program to compensate for increased operating expenses, flattened revenue streams, and an enrollment that has plateaued. The cut is part of the SFC Forward: Strategic Vision for 2023 & Beyond, which includes curriculum revisions, new academic programs, campus relocation, and the appointment of an acting president.

The athletics program will continue as planned until the end of the semester. Despite the cut, the college assured student-athletes that it will continue to honor all academic and athletic scholarships.

The college will also end employment for athletics staff and coaches at the end of the spring semester. The school said it will help the coaches and staff during this transition.

"We want to acknowledge that SFC has a rich legacy in competitive athletics and are proud of our Terriers today and in all years past," according to the announcement from St. Francis. "This difficult decision was guided by a commitment to preserving the College's 164-year Franciscan mission to provide a high quality and affordable education to working-class and first-generation students."

The college referred any student-athlete who wishes to transfer to the NCAA transfer guide. The NCAA allows student-athletes to transfer with immediate eligibility if their prior institution eliminates their sports program.

The school's athletics Twitter account posted a statement from Director of Athletics Irma Garcia about the decision to cut the athletics program which she said she never anticipated during her time at the school.

She thanked the coaches, administrators, and student-athletes and rallied support for the rest of the final season.

"As we continue to compete this season, I ask that you pour love and positivity into our student-athletes," Garcia said. "They have worked all year to play at their highest level, and I will be cheering them on until the bitter end."

St. Francis said the athletics program can return "if the College returns to a stronger financial position."