UMass-Dartmouth Drops 8 Sports Programs

The athletics department of the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth announced this week that it will be dropping eight intercollegiate sports programs, effective immediately, according to a press release from the school.

The programs that have been cut include 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.

Photo CNU Sports / Creative Commons

UMass-Dartmouth is an NCAA Division III school, does not offer athletic scholarships, and participates in the Little East Conference (LEC) while the football and ice hockey programs are affiliate members of the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC). According to the press release, the changes affected 94 student-athletes.

“Although these changes will serve UMass Dartmouth Athletics and its student body well for years to come, I cannot begin to imagine the sense of loss our student-athletes must feel at this moment. I want them to know that this decision in no way reflects their tremendous contribution to our University,” UMass-Dartmouth Chancellor Robert E. Johnson said in the release. “It is because of these contributions — not just on the field — but in the classrooms, labs, and in the community that makes our student-athletes such valuable members of our community.”

The decision came after multiple reviews over the past decade of the UMass Dartmouth intercollegiate athletics program to formulate a long-term strategic plan that would provide the best possible competitive and co-curricular experiences for our student-athletes, according to the release. The reviews analyzed major aspects of the current Department of Athletics & Recreation structure, including available resources, gender equity, enrollment, full-time/part-time coaches, sports sponsorship trends, facilities, as well as strengths and weaknesses of programs.

The savings realized because of these changes will be allocated strategically within the Department of Athletics & Recreation and reinvested in the remaining 17 athletic programs — eight men’s sports and nine women’s sports. It should be noted this process began before COVID-19 and is in no way related to the current health crisis.

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“Though the review and subsequent actions taken on the future of intercollegiate athletics was needed, I am deeply saddened by having to discontinue sponsorship of these programs,” UMD athletic director Amanda Van Voorhis said in the release. “The implementation of this action now 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.”

To read the full message from UMass-Dartmouth Chancellor Robert E. Johnson on the Corsairs cutting eight athletic programs, click here