Saint Francis Brooklyn suddenly disbands their entire D1 athletics program. On March 20th, Saint Francis announced that their athletics program, due to a “strategic realignment plan”, is to be disbanded at the conclusion of the spring 2023 semester.
Irma Garcia, Athletic Director for Saint Francis Brooklyn, said in a statement “I come to you today to share the news of a decision I never anticipated during my time at St. Francis College… I am heartbroken that a decision has been made to eliminate the College’s athletics program.”
It’s been an incredibly difficult week here in Brooklyn.
— St. Francis Brooklyn (@SFBKTerriers) March 24, 2023
What does this mean for SFC students?
Saint Francis Brooklyn is to disband their athletics program at the end of the semester, but what does this mean for its student-athletes? SFC Brooklyn is home to 21 teams who compete in the Northeast Conference along with other small schools in the NEC. Hundreds of athletes will have to choose between staying at SFC Brooklyn and ending their athletic careers, or transfer to another school to continue competing.
What this could mean for other Northeastern schools
With athletes searching for a new school, Pace could have lots to gain from this dissolution of SFC Athletics. Regardless of Pace’s DII status, DI athletes can advance further in their careers in a slightly less competitive environment and make it to tournaments and competitions they otherwise couldn’t make it to in a D1 program. In other words, this could be a great opportunity for both Pace Athletics, and SFC athletes.
Choose to stay or choose to transfer
However, if students choose to continue their education at SFC instead of transferring, according to SFC Athletics:
“To ensure that you, our student-athletes, can continue your studies at SFC uninterrupted, the College will honor all current academic and athletic scholarships, even though you will no longer be participating in athletics.”
Agreements made between students and the athletic department regarding scholarships will be untouched, however, students will no longer have the ability to play their sports. This ends up being a choice for the athlete. Continue attending SFC with a scholarship and no possibility of playing a sport, or transfer to another school with an athletics program but risk losing scholarship money. Nonetheless, this is an unfortunate circumstance for both the athletes and the athletic department at SFC.
How this could affect SFC Brooklyn as a school
College athletics brings in a large sum of money through social media, TV coverage, and ticket sales for the college. Furthermore, public relations will change for SFC as the college will have much less media coverage, outreach, and community engagement.
Overall, Saint Francis College Brooklyn might be making a decision which will help the school financially in the short term, however, they may be preventing many prospective students from applying to a school with no athletic program. We will have to wait and see the outcome of this decision.