Valparaiso University has announced that it will discontinue its men’s soccer and men’s tennis programs. The discontinuation of the men’s soccer program is effective immediately, while the discontinuation of the men’s tennis program will take effect at the conclusion of the 2019–2020 season.
As part of the University’s ongoing strategic planning process the Athletics Oversight Committee of the Board of Directors conducted an extensive review of the Athletics Department that began in 2017. The focus of this review was to evaluate the breadth and mix of athletic programs at Valpo. One of the conclusions of the review was that 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. With 21 Division I teams, Valpo had the most athletic programs of any school in the Missouri Valley Conference and more than the majority of its Division I national peer institutions. The decision will allow 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.
Those affected student-athletes on athletic scholarship who choose to remain enrolled at Valpo will continue to receive that support through graduation. Per NCAA rules all affected student-athletes will be granted immediate athletic eligibility at their new institutions if they choose to transfer. The University will assist in the transfer process.
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.
“I would like to thank each of the impacted student-athletes and coaches for their contributions to the University and to Valpo Athletics. The student-athletes have represented the university well both in the classroom and in competition and all of their hard work is greatly appreciated. Coaches Mike Avery and Jim Daugherty have guided their programs to success in competition while representing the University and Valpo Athletics in a positive manner both in the community and their profession. I greatly appreciate their years of service to their student-athletes, our department and our University,” said Mark LaBarbera, director of athletics.