St. Thomas to cut varsity tennis programs

Tuesday, the University of St. Thomas announced it will cut its men’s and women’s varsity tennis programs at the end of the academic year.

"This hard decision was made in consultation with St. Thomas’ Board of Trustees following the evaluation of our entire athletics department’s resources, including: facilities, staff and personnel, ongoing athletic scholarship support, competitiveness, peer institution portfolios and our long-term financial model," the university said in a release.

St. Thomas said it determined it was "unable to adequately provide the conditions necessary" for the programs to compete at the Division I level. That determination included the fact the university has no dedicated facilities on or off campus for the programs.

The move will bring the number of varsity sports at St. Thomas down to 20, which the university said is in closer alignment with other Summit League schools.

The university added that it doesn’t plan to discontinue any other programs.

"We understand this news deeply disappoints many people, but none more so than the 27 student-athletes and coaches who dedicated themselves to this program, as well as program alumni. For 100 years, our tennis student-athletes and coaches have demonstrated great sportsmanship and represented St. Thomas with dignity and grace, both in the classroom and on the court," the university said.

The news comes after the women’s tennis team won the MIAC championship this past weekend.

St. Thomas said it will honor all employment agreements with coaches and support all affected student-athletes during the transition. Tennis will remain a club sport at the school.

The university posted a question-and-answer regarding the decision on its website.