BOONE, N.C. (WJHL) — Appalachian State announced several cost-cutting measures on Tuesday, including the elimination of three sports programs.
Citing the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the university’s athletic department said it will discontinue the men’s soccer, men’s tennis, and men’s indoor track and field programs effective immediately.
“This is a very difficult day for the entire App Family,” Director of Athletics Doug Gillin said in a news release. “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.”
The men’s cross country and men’s outdoor track and field programs will continue to compete.
App State will still honor scholarships for affected student-athletes who wish to return to the university and for incoming signees.
The sports eliminations are part of a 20 percent, or $5 million, reduction to the university’s athletics department budget for the 2021 fiscal year.
App State also announced other measures, including a hiring freeze for athletics staff and exploring additional personnel actions.
With the eliminations, the university will now sponsor 17 NCAA Division I sports, including seven men’s sports and 10 women’s sports.
The announcement comes one week after Furman University revealed it was discontinuing its baseball and men’s lacrosse programs.