FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Indiana-University Purdue-University Fort Wayne’s (IPFW) tennis program will have its last season this spring. The university has decided to discontinue both its men’s and women’s tennis teams, ending programs that are both about 40-years-old.
This decision comes after a recommendation made by a national collegiate sports consulting group that has been assessing all aspects of the university’s operations. The college said discontinuing the teams will provide $450,000 to be reinvested in university programs focused on student success, retention and recruitment.
Nine men and nine women athletes, along with two staff coaches are affected by the university’s decision. The affected athletes who want to stay at IPFW to complete college will continue to receive their scholarship for the remainder to their athletic eligibility. However, if they wish to transfer to another institution to continue their tennis career, the university said the Athletics Department will provide assistance.
Under NCAA rules, student-athletes who transfer because their program has been eliminated are immediately eligible to compete at another Division I school.
“We are extremely thankful for the many academic and athletic achievements of these student-athletes and coaches. We will work to ensure a successful transition for them into the next phase of their lives here or at another institution,” Director of Athletics Kelley Hartley Hutton said in a statement released to media outlets Saturday.
IPFW has 14 men’s and women’s teams that compete in NCAA Division I athletics.
Programs for the men and women’s teams started during the 1973-1974 season and 1976-1977 season, respectively.
IPFW has a five-year strategic plan that calls for the assessment of all university functions to support the alignment of available resources with strategic priorities.