Division I St. Francis College (Brooklyn) To Eliminate All Athletics Programs

St. Francis College in Brooklyn, N.Y., an NCAA Division I program that competes in the Northeast Conference, announced Monday that it will be eliminating all athletics program effective at the end of the 2023 Spring semester.

The school, commonly referred to as St. Francis Brooklyn (not to be confused with St. Francis University in Pennsylvania), announced the elimination of athletics as part of an institutional restructuring that will see more investment geared toward academic programs along with relocating to a modernized campus.

In a statement published on the St. Francis College website, the school said the decision came after a “strategic realignment plan” was recently approved by its Board of Trustees, citing an increase in operating expenses, flatter revenue streams, and plateauing enrollment in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“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,” the statement reads. “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.”

The school added that all current athletic scholarships will be honored despite the students no longer being able to participate in varsity athletics.

Athletics staff and coaches will see their employment come to an end at the conclusion of the semester as well.

“The College will provide information, recommendations, and next-step guidance to help ease this transition,” the school statement said. “We thank everyone involved in our athletics program for their spirit, dedication, professionalism and commitment to the College.”

St. Francis College also appointed a new president in the announcement, as the Board of Trustees granted Dr. Miguel Martinez-Saenz his request for personal leave on March 19 and named Tim Cecere as Acting President effective Monday.

Director of Athletics Irma Garcia issued the following statement on the matter, saying she was “heartbroken” by the announcement:

The Terriers will see 19 different athletic programs sacked as a result, including both men’s and women’s swimming and diving. The school also offered men’s and women’s basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis, track and field, volleyball, and water polo, along with women’s bowling.

Northeast Conference Commissioner Noreen Morris also issued a statement:

The St. Francis swimming and diving teams recently competed at the NEC Conference Championships in February, with the women’s team finishing seventh and the men’s team taking third.

The swim & dive teams first competed during the 2004-05 season.

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2 months ago

This is very sad news but didn’t they sell their athletic facility building a few months back? Renting different places around NYC was never going to be sustainable. Also, not sure hosting 19-22 varsity teams was helping the situation, this plan might have been in place longer then they are leading on like when they decided to put the building for sale a few years back.

Just a thought, doesn’t the school get revenue from the tournament even if their own basketball team doesn’t make it? For example, FDU this season, wouldn’t SFC receive some revenue from that run? Also, I think SFC basketball team made it a few years ago, what type of revenue is received when they make… Read more »

Reply to  GoBulldogs
2 months ago

Yeah, but in the past, the league office has kept that money or spent it how it wants to: https://www.si.com/college/2017/03/15/ncaa-tournament-mount-st-marys-new-orleans-first-four

So it sort of “reduces some costs” for members rather than distributing the money.

Here’s a dream scenario, and how much that distributes. As you can see, the NEC, even with that thrilling FDU win, doesn’t really do much for other schools in the conference: https://boardroom.tv/mens-ncaa-tournament-distribution-unit-worth/

2 months ago

Ironically this decision will have a direct impact on their next set of admission numbers which will take a huge hit. Recruits that have already deposited will just go elsewhere. Finances can expect to get worse as whatever money was saved by cutting programs will be lost in revenue that would have come from student-athletes in Fall 2023 and beyond. Very short-sighted!

Mark Rauterkus
2 months ago

Ugly news. Why not hit a reset and go to D3 or else NAIA? Doing a major downsize is bad. But it is way worse to do NOTHING and pull the plug fully.

Reply to  Mark Rauterkus
2 months ago

Reading between the lines, it sounds like the “new modernized campus” is going to have downgraded athletic facilities, perhaps the sort which only supports club teams and intramurals. All of the stuff about the new campus on the school’s website focuses on the academic buildings and says quite literally nothing about athletics.

2 months ago

If I am a student thinking of attending there, I am seriously reconsidering attending because it may not be a financially sound college

Reply to  Lpman
2 months ago

This is definitely a a foreseeable outcome

2 months ago

Holy moly

2 months ago

I’m afraid, unfortunately, we will see more smaller schools following St. Francis example

2 months ago

They do not care about their students at all

2 months ago

Sad. Majority of their programs aren’t revenue generating sports and frequently fall victim to budget cuts in favor of football or basketball. It’s sad to see them all go in one swoop. Also, I didn’t even know there was division I bowling..pretty cool.

Reply to  RealSlimThomas
2 months ago

The school does not have a football program.

Reply to  Braden Keith
2 months ago

could be from the uk so soccer maybe which they do have

Piss Pooler
Reply to  Braden Keith
2 months ago

Pretty sure it’s the women’s bowling team that broke their athletic department’s budget.

Reply to  Piss Pooler
2 months ago

On some level, I’m okay with the experiment. We’ve long been told that athletics supports institutional-wide initiatives that benefit the whole student body. “Athletics costs are marketing costs.” I want to see what happens when a school that drops athletics and still chases high-level academics.

If it fails anyway, this could be valuable information to push for more congressional protections and support for intercollegiate athletics.

Ultimately, SFC probably should not have been a D1 school. They should have been a D3 school and used athletics to chase enrollment.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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