North Carolina Central announced that they will discontinue it’s baseball program at the conclusion of the 2021 season due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. NCCU Athletics have cut the budget significantly in steps to provide enough support long-term for their athletics.
The reason for the cut came down to NCAA Division 1 requirements. The minimum total number of sports required for NCAA Division 1 membership is 14. The NCAA specifies that their must either be seven female and seven male or eight female and six male sports that can be sponsored in order to be eligible for Division 1 sports.
NCCU currently sponsors a total of 15 sports with them being eight male and seven female. So based on the NCAA Division 1 requirements, a female sport could not be considered in the process of dismissal.
After much deliberation and review of all factors, it was determined that baseball had to be the sport chosen to be discontinued.
“This is a challenging day for our baseball student-athletes, coaches and the NCCU Athletics program, and certainly one of the most disappointing days in my career,” said NCCU Director of Athletics Dr. Ingrid Wicker McCree on the NCCU athletics website. “I sincerely understand how much time and dedication has been put into becoming a college-student athlete and I empathize with our baseball student-athletes, parents, and families.”
The university honors all existing and new scholarships for baseball student-athletes who wish to continue studying at NCCU for the 2021-22 academic year. For those student-athletes considering transferring, under NCAA transfer rules, those student-athletes are immediately eligible for competition when their institution discontinues the sport in which they practiced or competed in.
NCCU is committed to supporting the affected student-athletes by offering them the resources needed in order for them to compete at their highest level.