The University of Cincinnati's Nippert Stadium has become a hot spot for soccer, but not necessarily for the university's team. The city's Major League Soccer team FC Cincinnati has called the field home since its inception and will until work is complete on its new $250 million West End stadium.
UC Athletics soccer is facing a different fate as Director of Athletics John Cunningham announced Tuesday that the school would discontinue its program immediately.
"This was a difficult decision, but one made with the long-term interests of UC Athletics at the forefront," Cunningham said in a release. "During this time of profound challenges and widespread uncertainty, I have engaged in a comprehensive and thorough review of UC's sport offerings and long-term budget implications of supporting the number of student-athletes currently at UC. Based on this review, and in consultation with President Pinto and other University leaders, UC Athletics will no longer sponsor a men's soccer program."
"Our men's soccer student-athletes have been outstanding representatives of the University in the classroom and on the field," Cunningham continued. "They may not fully understand this decision, but I want them to know they were truly and conscientiously considered during my deliberations about the future of UC Athletics. We are making this decision now to enable our men's soccer student-athletes to have an opportunity to play at another institution if they choose to do so."
UC says the men's soccer program dates back to 1973 and has an all-time record of 385-408-84. The Bearcats were 5-11-1 in 2019. Current men's soccer student-athletes attending the college on a scholarship will have that scholarship honored for the "duration of their academic careers," says the school, and those student-athletes who do not want to continue at the college but would like to transfer to another with a soccer program will be allowed to do so immediately.
"I am most sincerely grateful to everyone who has supported the men's soccer program at the University of Cincinnati," Cunningham said. "This includes former coaches, former student-athletes, donors and fans. Your legacy at UC will not be forgotten and your accomplishments will continue to be recognized."