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St. Francis College in New York announced Monday it is dropping its entire Division I athletics program at the conclusion of the spring semester, noting recent enrollment and demographic challenges.
“There are challenges facing higher education institutions, particularly smaller liberal arts colleges in the Northeast, from which SFC is not immune. Among these challenges are increased operating expenses, flattening revenue streams, and plateauing enrollment due in part to a shrinking pool of high school graduates in the aftermath of the [coronavirus] pandemic,” Dennis J. Salamone, chair of the St. Francis College Board of Trustees, said in a statement.
St. Francis College will continue to honor current athletic scholarships. The 164-year-old college, which offers 21 varsity programs across 10 different NCAA sports, has an especially long history in college basketball, dating back to 1901.
Despite the cuts to athletics, the statement said the college is focused on investing in new academic programs, expanding enrollment and relocating its campus to a new facility. St. Francis College also announced that President Miguel Martinez-Saenz is on personal leave, per his own request, and Chief Operating Officer Tim Cecere has been appointed acting president.