Cheyney Drops Division II Athletics

March 22, 2018

Cheyney University is dropping its status as a National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II program as it seeks to stabilize its finances for the future.

The country's oldest historically black university, located outside Philadelphia, is also leaving the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. Its men's basketball team, women's basketball team and women's volleyball team will be independent for the 2018-19 academic year as they seek a new athletic conference, according to a Tuesday news release.

Cheyney suspended its football program in December in another cost-cutting move.

“These are extremely difficult but necessary decisions that are being made on behalf of our entire student population, and to help ensure the university’s future,” said President Aaron A. Walton in a statement. “We want to continue to provide our student athletes the opportunity to participate as part of the overall college experience.

“Unfortunately, we cannot continue to do so at the current level of competition,” Walton continued. “These changes are essential if the university is to achieve financial sustainability. They will remain in effect until we achieve our financial objectives.”

Cheyney's accreditation and future were in jeopardy at the beginning of this academic year. Pennsylvania's state university system agreed to provide financial relief by forgiving over $30 million in loans if the university can balance its budget over the next four years, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported in August.

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