In early March, at the Student Leader Luncheon, President McKay mentioned that more athletic teams will be under evaluation for potential cuts.
However, Athletic Director Bill Jurgens has stated that student athletes should not be afraid.
“Although I can’t say if or when teams could be cut, the decision will divert all necessary attention,” Jurgens said. “Student athletes should not be afraid. Any decision about reducing a program is going to be studied thoroughly. It’s a tough decision and it will be not be taken lightly.”
There are numerous factors that must be taken into consideration when an athletic committee, which consists of members of the school’s board of trustees, suggest “healthy recommendations for the betterment of the university,” Jurgens said.
Such factors include academic performance, athletic performance, retention and graduation rates, academic success rates, senior exit interviews, program requirements and facility needs and maintenance, according to Jurgens.
One of the recent athletic teams to be cut was women’s golf.
This past fall semester, women’s golf had the second highest overall team GPA with an average of 3.598.
Furthermore, two girls on the team will be transferring to Division I schools to continue their golf careers at the collegiate level.
As their last season comes to a close, all members of the team that are on athletic scholarships were informed their financial aid would continue until their graduation date and that tehy can choose to play on the men’s team.
On the men’s side of golf, sophomore Evan Thompson, a student in entrepreneurship and a member of the men’s golf team, said he thinks they chose not to cut men’s golf because they were Sunshine State Conference champions last year.
“However, I think in the next five years, the school might cut the program because they will choose to focus more on academics rather than the continuation of athletic teams,” Thompson said.
Golf is not the only program that has been cut.
Florida Tech has discontinued three athletic programs since last summer.
Track and field as well as tennis are no longer athletic programs that Florida Tech will continue.
As more and more programs are reduced, students athletes have become concerned about their future at Florida Tech.
Pauline Cosson is a junior majoring in sports management.
Cosson is currently a member of the cross country team and was previously a member of the track and field team before the program was cut.
“I worry that cross country could be cut due to the fact that our roster size is so small with only seven girls,” she said. “However, I’m hopeful they will let the program continue in the upcoming years, as the cut to another running-related program was made so recently.”
Another student concerned about cuts due to a small roster size is Tania Kottke, a senior majoring in business administration and management as well as a member of the volleyball team.
“On one head, I’m worried because as of now with next year’s incoming freshman, we will be ten girls in total,” Kottke said. “However, in order for us to practice against each other and scrimmage, you need 12 on the court, so this makes training for games a bit harder. On the other hand, though, volleyball is a major collegiate sport. I view it as the female equivalent to a football program, and I don’t see Florida Tech’s football team being cut anytime soon. Therefore, I’d like to think volleyball won’t be cut in the near future either.”
As numerous student athletes have expressed their concerns, the president’s office has stated that there are no additional details to share concerning this issue.
While there is still no answer as to if or when teams will be cut, Jurgens leaves the student body with this note:
“Cutting teams at the university is the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” he said. “I love Florida Tech, I love the students, but sometimes I have to do things that are hard because it’s simply my job to do so.”