Courtesy: Albany State Athletics
ALBANY, Ga. (July 17, 2019)– Albany State University (ASU) continues to increase operational effectiveness and efficiency in all areas, including our athletics program. This academic year, ASU athletics will realize a planned reduction of an estimated $600,000. Budget reductions and realignment of resources began in the 2018 – 19 academic year.
The University has implemented a plan to strategically realign resources to build a sustainable athletics program. Reductions across multiple sports included decreases in scholarships, operational expenses, and personnel. One of these unfortunate but necessary reductions will include the discontinuation of ASU’s men’s cross country and men’s golf programs. These programs will be discontinued at the conclusion of the 2019-20 academic year.
Albany State University will sponsor 11 sports programs and continue to be a leading member of NCAA Division II, the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) and the Peach Belt Conference. These programs include football, baseball, men’s track and field, women’s track and field, women’s cross country, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, volleyball, softball, tennis, soccer.
“We understand the impact this has on our student-athletes, coaches and the department. We are grateful for the student-athletes who have committed themselves to our athletics program and University,” said ASU Interim Athletics Director Jackie Nicholson.
Maintaining high academic standards, providing students with an excellent athletic experience and competing for conference championships remain the primary goals of the ASU athletics department, Nicholson said.
“This is a tough decision that will allow ASU to realign resources in support of our overall athletics program,” said ASU President Marion Ross Fedrick. “We will continue to focus on building champions in the classroom and on the fields and courts of competition. We appreciate the commitment of our coaches and all athletics personnel impacted and are grateful for their service to our students, institution and the Albany community.”
FAQ: Albany State University Athletic Department
Albany State University continues to increase operational effectiveness and efficiency in all areas, including our athletics program. A strategy to both decrease our expenses and further increase business and philanthropic support to build a sustainable athletics program has been established. Budget reductions and realignment of resources began in the 2018 – 19 academic year.
Albany State University is reducing the number of its intercollegiate athletic programs by two at the conclusion of the 2019 – 20 academic year. ASU will sponsor 11 sports programs and continue to be a leading member of NCAA Division II and the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) and the Peach Belt Conference.
The following question and answers have been compiled by staff to help you understand the interrelated issues which were involved in the decision.
Q: Which sports will be affected?
A: Men’s golf and men’s cross country will be discontinued as intercollegiate sports at the conclusion of the 2019 – 20 academic year.
Q: Why were these sports selected to be discontinued?
A: The institution analyzed data compiled from every sport and developed a strategy that included cost savings, compliance, limiting the impact on student-athletes and personnel, and continuing the development of a world-class student-athlete experience.
Q: How will current golf and cross-country student-athletes be affected by this decision? What other support is the university providing to affected student-athletes?
A: Albany State will continue to honor scholarships for all student-athletes currently participating in golf and cross country, who remain eligible in accordance with university and athletic department policies. Under NCAA transfer rules, a student-athlete is able to transfer to another institution and be eligible to practice and compete immediately if an institution has discontinued the program.
Members of the athletics administration will be actively available to engage and discuss scholarship and transfer information as well as academic advisement for impacted student-athletes.
Q: How many student-athletes will be affected by this decision?
A: There are 13 student-athletes currently participating in men’s golf and men’s cross country.
Q: How will this decision affect Title IX and gender equity compliance?
A: Title IX was carefully considered during this process and the changes will not negatively impact gender equity moving forward.
Q: What will happen to the equipment and supplies previously purchased to assist the affected programs?
A: All equipment and supplies will remain a part of the university and continue to be utilized for athletic purposes.
Q: What is the anticipated cost savings of discontinuing the men’s golf and men’s cross country programs?
A: The approximate operating expense for the two sports programs is $112,000 annually. Other expenses related to scholarships will be realized when student-athletes with remaining eligibility complete their academic careers at ASU or transfer to other institutions.
Q: What other cost-saving measures will be implemented to reach the budget reduction target?
A: The Department of Athletics implemented a five-year plan to align expenses with the reduced athletic fee and reduction in athletic fee revenue, and to eliminate the consolidated deficit. The sport reduction is one of many strategies used to meet the financial benchmarks in the five-year plan.
Q: Could anything else have been done in lieu of discontinuing sports?
A: The institution analyzed all options, including an option to retain all current sports programs. In order to main effective and efficient athletic programs, reductions in sports programs was required. ASU is committed to providing a world-class student-athlete experience, and this difficult decision aids in that endeavor.
Q: Was discontinuing football considered as a possible way to meet the budget reduction target?
A: Yes. Every sport was evaluated.
Q: Will there be any additional changes forthcoming?
A: ASU continuously monitors all programs in an effort to create an environment that facilitates student success, however, the university does not anticipate any further sport reductions.
Q: Will these changes affect Albany State’s Division II status?
A: No. Albany State will continue to operate at the NCAA Division II level in all programs. The net change in program offerings will be 11 total intercollegiate programs – four men’s teams and seven women’s teams.