CLINTON COUNTY, Pa. – Lock Haven University has announced the realignment of its sports program. University President Dr. Michael Fiorentino, Jr., says the school is dropping men’s indoor track. The Unversity with now support 7 men’s sports teams and 9 women’s sports teams. Unversity officials had been considering cutting three teams, the men’s indoor and outdoor track teams and the women’s swimming team. University say they do not have the money to sustain all of the school’s intercollegiate sports programs.
Lock Haven University also have a problem with declining enrollment. The Clinton County school has an undergraduate enrollment of 3,555 students. 59% of the undergraduate students are female, 41% are male.
On the University website, Dr Fiorentino issued the following statement:
“I write to you today to share my decision on the athletic realignment proposals. This information has been shared at the Coaches Meet & Discuss, with the coaches, and the student athletes. There were many factors considered in this process:
* Proposals presented from athletic administrators, faculty, coaches, and students
* Numerous meetings with student representatives
* Communications from alums, parents, and the community
* Careful consideration of Title IX and financial implications
Taking all of these considerations as a whole, and I did in fact weigh all of the input received, it is my professional judgment that it is in the best interest of the University to discontinue the men’s indoor track and field team at Lock Haven University effective the conclusion of the spring 2017 semester. Men’s outdoor track and field and the women’s field hockey Division I status will not change. However, we will continue to review budgetary and Title IX considerations as it relates to athletics in the coming year.
I respect the passion of our coaches and student-athletes. This decision, as has been the case with all decisions to reduce or change offerings at our University, was extremely difficult. This decision in no way reflects or diminishes the contributions of coaches, students, and alumni whose dedication on and off the field represent the best of LHU.”
All 14 of the state owned universities are dealing with tight budgets. Mansfield University eliminated it’s women’s swim team this year. The school dropped its football program in 2006 and replaced it in 2008 with sprint football with a reduced roster and only one full-time coach. The wrestling team was eliminated in 1995.
Kutztown Unversity cut Men’s Soccer and Swimming in 2009. Millersville Unveristy eliminated its men’s cross-country program and men’s indoor and outdoor track and field in 2012.