St. Francis College in Brooklyn, which has the oldest men’s varsity basketball program in New York City, has announced the end of its entire Division 1 athletic program.
Denis Salamone, president of the Board of Trustees of St. Francis College, announced Monday that the private institution founded in 1884 would undergo a «strategic realignment plan» to combat «increased operating expenses, flattening cash flows revenue and enrollment stagnation due to part of a dwindling cohort of post-pandemic high school graduates.»
This included the «elimination» of San Francisco. athletic programs.
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«Accordingly, the Board of Trustees recently approved a strategic realignment plan that includes the elimination of the university’s NCAA Division I athletics program, effective at the conclusion of the spring 2023 semester,» Salamone said in a statement, via the university website.
«We want to recognize that SFC has a rich legacy in competitive athletics, and we are proud of our Terriers today and in all the years past. This difficult decision was guided by a commitment to preserve the College’s 164-year Franciscan mission of providing a high quality». and affordable education for working class and first-generation students.
St. Francis will honor all current academic and athletic scholarships, despite the decision, but added that employment for athletic staff and coaches will end at the end of the spring semester.
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Athletic Director Irma Garcia issued a separate statement thanking the student athletes and coaches for their commitment.
«I come to you today to share the news of a decision I never anticipated during my time at St. Francis College. It breaks my heart that the decision has been made to eliminate the college’s athletics program, following the conclusion of the spring semester 2023. My heart aches for our student-athletes, coaches, and staff.”
She continued: «The COVID-19 pandemic has left an indelible impact on St. Francis College and, as a result, on Terrier Athletics.»
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«As we continue to compete this season, I ask that you shower love and positivity on our student-athletes. They have worked all year to play at the highest level and I will be rooting for them until the bitter end.»
St. Francis has 19 teams that compete in the NCAA Northeast Conference. The Terriers men’s basketball team was founded in 1896 and boasts six regular season championships.