Sonoma State University

Sonoma State to Discontinue Tennis, Water Polo Teams

keller tennis courts
NBC 5 News

Sonoma State University on Wednesday said its men's and women's tennis teams and the women's water polo team will be discontinued at the end of the 2019-2020 academic year.

In a news release, SSU said discontinuing the three teams is "part of continuing strategic effort to focus on the university's institutional mission while addressing current budget challenges."

The three teams are not sponsored by the California Collegiate Athletic Association, and their discontinuation will provide nearly $800,000 for re-allocation and reinvestment in SSU's intercollegiate athletics strategic priorities.

SSU's 14 sports teams, which included the discontinued teams, were the most athletic programs of any National Collegiate Athletics Association Division II institution within the California State University system.

"This was a difficult decision driven in no small part by the new financial realities facing our state, the California State University system and SSU," SSU president Judy Sakaki said.

Sakaki said the decision leaves SSU in a better position to support existing athletic teams while protecting SSU's commitment to student success in academics.

"This is a decision we've made as a result of our inability to adequately fund and serve 14 intercollegiate teams into the future," said Stan Nosek, co-interim athletic director at SSU.

"The savings realized by retaining only those sports sponsored through the CCAA will be reinvested into providing scholarships and services in support of student-athletes' athletic and academic success," Nosek said.

The student-athletes in the tennis and water polo teams who currently receive athletic aid and choose to remain at SSU will continue to receive their financial support during the 2020-2021 academic year.

NCAA rules require student-athletes on the three teams to be granted immediate athletic eligibility if they transfer to another university, and SSU will assist with their transfer.

There will still be 11 sports teams at SSU: men's and women's basketball, men's and women's soccer and men's and women's golf, as well as baseball, softball, women's cross country, women's track and field and women's volleyball.

Sonoma State University is required to have a minimum of 10 teams in the California Collegiate Athletic Association.

SSU is currently closed due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

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