By Michael Lewis
In a stunning announcement, St. Francis College Brooklyn on Monday eliminated its athletics department, effective the end of the spring semester.
That included the men’s and women’s soccer teams, which left the New York City borough without a Division I program for the first time in decades.
Long Island University eliminated several sports programs at its Brooklyn campus in 2018. The soccer teams currently compete out of LIU C.W. Post on Long Island.
A statement from Director of Athletics Irma Garcia regarding today's announcement from @SFCNY #BrooklynTough pic.twitter.com/StVkfKEthZ
— St. Francis Brooklyn (@SFBKTerriers) March 20, 2023
In a press release, the college stated:
“The St. Francis College Board of Trustees and Leadership are responding to these challenges by acting decisively with plans in place to benefit the College and the students we serve.
“Accordingly, the Board of Trustees recently approved a strategic realignment plan which includes the elimination of the College’s NCAA Division I athletics program, effective at the conclusion of the Spring 2023 semester.
“We want to acknowledge that SFC has a rich legacy in competitive athletics, and are proud of our Terriers today and in all years past. This difficult decision was guided by a commitment to preserving the College’s 164-year Franciscan mission to provide a high quality and affordable education to working-class and first-generation students.
To ensure that student-athletes can continue their studies at SFC uninterrupted, the College will honor all current academic and athletic scholarships, even though students will no longer be participating in athletics.
“Employment for athletics staff and coaches will end at the conclusion of the Spring 2023 semester. The College will provide information, recommendations, and next-step guidance to help ease this transition.
“We thank everyone involved in our athletics program for their spirit, dedication, professionalism and commitment to the college.”
The Terriers men’s squad finished the 2022 season at 8-5-6, losing to Fairleigh Dickinson University, 2-1, in the Northeast Conference final, on Nov. 13.
The women’s side completed the fall campaign at 2-11-3. The Terriers dropped a 1-0 decision to LIU at home in its last regular season match on Oct. 27.
No one realized at the time that both matches would be the program’s finales.