Cincinnati abandons men’s soccer program in “general uncertainty”


Citing “deep challenges and widespread uncertainty” due to the coronavirus pandemic, the University of Cincinnati announced on Tuesday that it was ending its men’s football program.

The Bearcats have participated in men’s soccer since 1973.

“It was a difficult decision, but made with the long-term interests of UC Athletics in the foreground,” Cincinnati sporting director John Cunningham said in a statement. “In this time of deep challenges and widespread uncertainty, I have embarked on a comprehensive and in-depth review of UC sports offerings and the long-term budgetary implications of supporting the number of student-athletes currently at UC. Based on this review and in consultation with the President [Neville] Pinto and other university leaders, UC Athletics, will no longer sponsor a men’s football program. “

The Bearcats reached the NCAA tournament in 2003 and 2006. After a 5-11-1 record in 2019, longtime coach Hylton Dayes resigned in March after 19 seasons at school.

Cunningham said the school will honor scholarships for male soccer student-athletes for the duration of their university careers. He said that student athletes would be allowed to transfer without penalty.

“Our male soccer student-athletes have been exceptional representatives of the University in the classroom and on the field,” said Cunningham. “They may not fully understand this decision, but I want them to know that they have been genuinely and conscientiously taken into account in my deliberations on the future of UC Athletics. We are making this decision now to allow our student male football athletes the opportunity to play at another institution if they wish. “

Cincinnati, a member of the American Athletic Conference, proposed 19 sports before cutting men’s football.

In 2018, according to the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, Cincinnati spent approximately $ 61.8 million on athletics. About 47 percent of this money came from “direct institutional support,” such as tuition, tuition, tuition waivers and endowments that are not specifically earmarked for athletics.


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