Valparaiso University dropping men’s soccer and men’s tennis programs • Northwest Indiana Business Magazine
Valparaiso University

Valparaiso University dropping men’s soccer and men’s tennis programs

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Valparaiso UniversityValparaiso University is discontinuing its men’s soccer and men’s tennis programs.

The university in a statement said the discontinuation of its men’s soccer program is effective immediately, while the men’s tennis program will end after the 2019–2020 season.

As part of the university’s ongoing strategic planning process, the athletics oversight committee of the board of directors began reviewing the athletics department in 2017.

Three full-time coaching positions will be eliminated when the discontinuations are fully implemented, said Mark LaBarbera, director of athletics at Valparaiso University. He said he could not disclose any additional information about the staffing cuts or savings the university would see from dropping the men's tennis and men's soccer programs.

The committee concluded the university would be best served with an athletics program whose size was more in-line with those of the university’s Missouri Valley Conference colleagues and national peers. The university said its 21 Division I teams was the most of any athletic program of any school in the Missouri Valley Conference and more than the majority of its Division I national peer institutions.

The decision allows the university to better focus on providing the best possible experience for all student-athletes while providing the best opportunity for competing successfully within the Missouri Valley Conference and the department’s single sport conferences.

The university said affected student-athletes on athletic scholarship who choose to remain enrolled at Valparaiso will continue to receive that support through graduation. Per NCAA rules all affected student-athletes will be given immediate athletic eligibility at their new institutions if they choose to transfer.

The college will assist student athletes who seek transfers.

The men’s tennis program is in its third season as an affiliate member of the Summit League, while the men’s soccer program recently completed its third year of Missouri Valley Conference competition.

The university also is undergoing other changes. It recently was announced that Mark Heckler, who has served as university president since 2008, is stepping down and in fall 2018 the university announced it was closing its law school.


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