SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (February 4, 2013)- The University of Sioux Falls (USF) has determined it will discontinue its men's soccer program, effective for the upcoming 2013-2014 academic year. On January 20, 2011, the University of Sioux Falls was accepted into the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC). With this new conference affiliation, USF committed to fielding competitive teams in the 16 common sports of the NSIC. USF is currently one of only three NSIC schools that sponsor men's soccer as a varsity sport.
In an effort to retain men's soccer, USF became an associate member of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) for the 2012 season. This membership involved significant travel and excessive class absences for student-athletes due to the location of GNAC member schools. In recent months, USF pursued associate membership status with the more regionally based Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA). However, this membership would still require the USF men's soccer program to acquire an NCAA non-conference schedule in order to position itself to earn a national ranking and consideration for NCAA Division II post-season play. Upon consideration of these factors, it was determined that the extensive travel and missed class time for players would be comparable to that experienced with the 2012 GNAC schedule.
The University is committed to fielding competitive teams in alignment with the conference sports hosted by the NSIC and providing quality athletic experiences for its student-athletes. Moreover, USF remains fully committed to ensuring its student-athletes have opportunity to excel academically. University officials believe that this strategic decision better aligns USF with the majority of NSIC member institutions and serves important academic considerations for its student-athletes.
"All elements of the decision to discontinue men's soccer were carefully considered," said Interim Athletic Director Kevin Hesser. "These student-athletes not only represent the institution on the field of competition, but they also contribute greatly to our campus community. We know them personally and care about their welfare. This has been an incredibly challenging decision, but in the end, we felt compelled to position the University for long-term success and positive affiliation within the NSIC."
As a result of this decision, USF is committed to working closely with the student-athletes impacted by this decision that wish to continue attending USF. In addition, the University will make every effort to assist with placement of student-athletes that wish to continue competing in collegiate men's soccer at another institution.