As of the 2019 season, the Long Island University Brooklyn men’s soccer program will be no more.
Instead, it will play at LIU Post in Brookville, N.Y. The men’s and women’s soccer programs will be merged and play on Long Island.
That became a reality when university officials announced Wednesday that all of its athletic programs will be unified into a single NCAA Division I program at the start of the 2019 academic year next September.
“Long Island University is a nationally recognized teaching and research institution,” LIU president Kimberly R. Cline said in a statement. “We understand the importance of athletics in enhancing our brand nationwide by unifying our university community and our 200,000 alumni around the world. Our student-athletes competing at the highest-level plays a major role in this. We are extremely pleased that the NCAA has embraced this vision for our university’s future.”
The university made the announcement at the historic New York Athletic Club in front of an audience that included LIU student-athletes, coaches, administrators, faculty, alumni and long-standing supporters of the university.
The LIU Post soccer team, nicknamed the Pioneers, are a Division II power. It was not immediately known how the Brooklyn – nicknamed the Blackbirds — and Post programs would be combined.
The move was not embraced by everyone.
Former LIU Brooklyn men’s coach Arnie Ramirez, who guided the Blackbirds to some of its biggest moments in Division I history, was quite upset by the announcement.
“Sad news for the soccer history of the Brooklyn campus,” Ramirez wrote on his Facebook page. “Bye, Bye Blackbirds.”
He also criticized Cline.
“The culprit of the end of the Blackbirds. All she really cares about is the football team and$$$$$$,” he wrote. ” The soccer field will become condominiums. “President Cline came to LIU and she destroyed our LIU Brooklyn history in Baseball, Soccer. … A soccer alumni game at Post is not for me.”
LIU Brooklyn produced the core of this year’s Brooklyn Italians, who compete in the National Premier Soccer League.