The university, the city's only public historically black college or university, was placed on probation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges in 2018, after struggling to meet its accreditation requirements due to falling enrollment and state budget cuts, according to NOLA.com. The commission’s next review is in June 2020 and the university could lose its accreditation if the commission determines it cannot support its programs.
The indefinite suspension of athletics will “improve SUNO’s fiscal health and its academic programs,” Interim Chancellor James Ammons said in an internal memo acquired by NOLA.com. The university also furloughed some administrative staff last August and increased instructors’ teaching workloads.
The athletics suspension will impact 56 athletes, four head coaches and one assistant coach for its five teams -- men’s and women’s basketball and track and field and women’s volleyball. The programs compete in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.