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UMass Dartmouth discontinues eight sports, effective immediately

UMass Dartmouth has discontinued eight athletic programs.
UMass Dartmouth has discontinued eight athletic programs.Blake Nissen for the Boston Globe

UMass Dartmouth has discontinued eight athletic programs, chancellor Robert E. Johnson announced Wednesday.

Women’s equestrian, men’s golf, men’s lacrosse, co-ed sailing, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, and men’s and women’s tennis will be cut, affecting 94 student-athletes.

The school cited “multiple reviews over the past decade” that “analyzed major aspects of the current Department of Athletics & Recreation structure, including available resources, gender equity, enrollment, full-time/part-time coaches, sports sponsorship trends, facilities, as well as strengths and weaknesses of programs.” According to a press release, the review began before the COVID-19 pandemic and “is in no way related to the current health crisis.”

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UMass Dartmouth will sponsor 17 remaining Division 3 programs ― nine women’s sports and eight men’s ― in the Little East and Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic conferences.

“Though the review and subsequent actions taken on the future of intercollegiate athletics was needed, I am deeply saddened by having to discontinue the sponsorship of these programs,” said athletic director Amanda Van Voorhis in a statement. “The implementation of this action now will allow our department to work within a sustainable financial model going forward, and we will continue to provide the best possible experience for our student-athletes.”