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St. Francis College Announces the Closure of All Athletic Programs

On Monday afternoon, St. Francis College in Brooklyn announced the closure of its athletic programs, citing financial hardships post-pandemic.
St. Francis College in Brooklyn.

St. Francis College in Brooklyn is cutting all of its athletic programs at the conclusion of the current Spring 2023 semester, reports AMNY.

The announcement was shared with students on Monday afternoon and with it, the school's president Dr. Miguel Martinez-Saenz was granted a personal leave on Sunday leaving Tim Cecere, the school’s COO, as acting president. 

“There are challenges facing higher education institutions, particularly smaller liberal arts colleges in the Northeast, from which SFC is not immune,” stated Denis J. Salamone, chair of the school’s board of trustees.

“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 COVID."

Despite the institutional overhaul, the college has assured students who are a part of the 21 varsity teams across 10 different sports at the NCAA level, that they will have their academic and athletic scholarships honored.

“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," continued Salamone.

The college is well known for its historic men's basketball program, which was a charter member of the NCAA and the oldest basketball program in New York City. The team recently completed its 104th season after making four NIT appearances in its history, including a fourth-place finish in 1956. In addition to this, the women’s basketball program made its first-ever NCAA Tournament bid in 2015 while the men’s soccer team made nine NCAA Tournament appearances. 

“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,” Salmone said.

“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.”



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