In the last issue of The Crier, Student-Athletes reacted to the announcement of the Men’s Tennis Team discontinuation. However, some of the opinions of the students were lacking factual evidence that the Athletic Department has since made known.
In the original article, there was mention of the ski team being cut last year. However, the men’s and women’s ski teams were not cut or eliminated. Both teams operate as club sports and, as such, were transitioned from athletics to student affairs, where all other club sports are housed. The budgeted operational and salary dollars were moved from Athletics to student affairs accordingly.
NCAA rules do not permit male student-athletes to compete on a women’s team, but pursuing club sport status within Student Activities could offer a means toward participatory opportunities for men’s tennis.
Also, the men’s and women’s tennis teams are two of several sports which occasionally share transportation to and from events. Other examples include men and women’s cross country and men and women’s basketball.
Furthermore, the quotes which refer to how the decision was made and the process lack factual substance on many fronts. The decision to discontinue men’s tennis was reached after careful examination of the current varsity sport sponsorship model. Many factors were considered, including small roster size, challenging recruitment efforts, declining interest in the sport in New England, and minimal competitive success.
Since the announcement, Daron Montgomery has offered to meet with, and has accepted, student-athlete requests to meet. Additionally, the athletic department staff has offered on multiple occasions to assist student-athletes who wish to pursue transfer opportunities. Furthermore, Montgomery has also accepted several impromptu meetings with parents as well as taken phone calls and responded to emails.