Mount St. Mary's will discontinue three of its Division I athletics teams in 2013 in an effort to reduce its athletics budget while expanding its existing programs.
Men's soccer, along with men's and women's golf, will cease after the 2012-13 academic year. As many as 30 Mount student-athletes will be affected by the elimination of the three sports, as well as one full-time and three part-time coaching positions. The decision will save the university more than $400,000 annually.
"This is a decision we didn't want to make, but the budget realities require it to protect and reinvest in our remaining Division I programs," university President Thomas H. Powell said. "In recent years, we have made a concerted effort to enhance our elite academic programs and robust Catholic identity. This decision allows us to enhance the remaining programs for future athletic success."
The Mount will continue to compete in 16 Northeast Conference sports — baseball, basketball, cross country, lacrosse, tennis and track and field (indoor and outdoor) for men; and basketball, cross country, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, and track and field (indoor and outdoor) for women.
The university is honoring the athletic scholarships for each athlete and will assist the affected athletes in the coming months, whether they choose to remain at the Mount or transfer to another school offering their sport. Each sport will shift to club-level status in the fall of 2013. All coaches will remain on contract through June 2013.
"We place a high value on the opportunities athletics create for our student-athletes, and it is never easy to reduce those opportunities," athletic director Lynne Robinson said "This action doesn't lessen the success and dedication our athletes, coaches and alumni have exhibited through the years. They have contributed greatly to the strength of our program and our strong Mountaineer tradition and pride."