BROOKLYN — The ball has stopped bouncing for the St. Francis Brooklyn Terriers. No, not in terms of the 2022-23 season. Forever.
The school announced it is eliminating its entire athletics department at the end of the school year Monday. The school currently sponsors 19 teams.
St. Francis board of trustees chair Denis J. Salamone cited “increased operating expenses, flattening revenue streams, and plateauing enrollment due in part to a shrinking pool of high school graduates in the aftermath of COVID.”
The men’s basketball team, which started competing in 1896 as a charter member of the NCAA, is the oldest New York City team. The Terriers have never made the NCAA Tournament and is one of four original Division I team to fall into this claim, along with Army, William & Mary and The Citadel.
The women’s basketball team advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2015 and lost to top-overall seed UConn in the first round.
“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 school said in a statement.
The school recently added men’s volleyball and women’s soccer as recently as 2019. The recent additions of these programs demonstrates how COVID-19 impacted this decision as just four years ago it added teams and is now canceling the whole athletics department.
“My heart hurts for our student-athletes, coaches, and staff,” Director of Athletics Irma Garcia said. “The COVID-19 pandemic has left an indelible impact on St. Francis College, and as a result, Terrier Athletics.”
A statement from Director of Athletics Irma Garcia regarding today's announcement from @SFCNY #BrooklynTough pic.twitter.com/StVkfKEthZ— St. Francis Brooklyn (@SFBKTerriers) March 20, 2023
St. Francis moved to a new location in 2021. The men’s and women’s basketball teams played their final games at their old arena on the Remsen Street campus last November and completed the majority of their home slate at Pratt Institute, a nearby Division III school.
The school has about 2,300 undergraduate students.
The school also announced President Miguel Martinez-Saenz will take a leave of absence and Tim Cecere will serve as acting president.