Appalachian State is the latest Division I program to cut sports as it announced the elimination of men’s soccer, men’s tennis and men’s indoor track and field. The move reduces App State’s sports sponsorship to 17 sports (seven men’s and 10 women’s).
“This is a very difficult day for the entire App Family,” Gillin said. “Our mission is to guide and support our student-athletes in their quest for excellence academically, athletically and socially. After careful and thoughtful review, we determined that we could no longer sustain 20 program offerings in a fiscally responsible manner. Since the move to FBS, App State has sponsored the most sports in the Sun Belt and among the most in the Group of Five. This will bring us in line with most of our peer institutions.
“We appreciate everyone who has supported these Mountaineer programs over the years, including current and former coaches, current and former student-athletes, their families, donors and fans. Your legacy is important to us.”
App State said the decision was made weighing a number of factors, including budget implications, gender equity in relation to participation opportunities and university enrollment, facility considerations and more.
The move impacts 40-50 student athletes and four coaches. Any student athletes wishing to remain at App State will have their scholarship honored, as will incoming signees.
The elimination of these three sports is part of a 20% overall reduction to the athletic department’s fiscal year 2021 budget, a $5 million reduction.
Current athletic staff openings will not be filled and the athletic department notes it is looking into additional personnel actions.
“We take all these measures with heavy hearts, but with the long-term sustainability of App State Athletics at the forefront,” Gillin said. “The App Family is known for its strength and resilience. This is a pivotal moment for App State Athletics. It is in this moment that we must take responsible action to ensure our athletics department’s ability to fulfill our purpose and mission for years to come.”
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