South Dakota State Drops Tennis
For the second time in school history, South Dakota State is eliminating tennis from its' athletics program.
SDSU officials made the announcement Tuesday (April 24), three days after the men's tennis team completed a 1-18 regular season. The women's regular season wrapped up April 15. The women finished 0-18 and have a 24-match losing streak dating back to last season.
In a press release, Jackrabbits athletic director Justin Sell outlined the decisions for the move:
Despite continual efforts, we have been unable to provide an NCAA Division I experience in the sports of men's and women's tennis. University and Athletics Department leadership have determined it is not beneficial to continue the programs without appropriate and reasonable support.
Without readily available indoor and outdoor tennis courts, our student-athletes are unable to adequately train and prepare for competition. The constraints of existing facilities, along with associated practice times, have resulted in significant disadvantages to our student-athletes' experience, well-being and competitiveness.
A total of 19 student-athletes, one full-time coach, and a graduate assistant coach will be affected by the decision. The school says it will honor the existing scholarships of players who remain in Brookings. Athletes who decide to transfer will receive assistance from the school.
Tennis was first played at South Dakota State in the 1920s, with a women's program first established in 1967. Both men's and women's programs were previously discontinued in 1983 before being reinstated in 1991.
South Dakota State will now field 19 varsity sports - 16 of which compete in The Summit League. Football competes in the Missouri Valley Conference, wrestling in the Big 12, equestrian in the United Equestrian Conference.