The University of Cincinnati Department of Athletics is discontinuing its men's soccer program. Director of Athletics John Cunningham made the announcement on Tuesday, explaining that the decision was made following a "thorough review" of the school's "sport offerings and long-term budget implications." 

"This was a difficult decision, but one made with the long-term interests of UC Athletics at the forefront," he said. "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.

The "widespread uncertainty" Cunningham refers to has been caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, which forced the cancellation of the 2020 NCAA Tournament and may lead to the cancellation of the 2020 college football season as well.

Cunningham went on to address the likely shock that the men's soccer players and coaches are feeling.

"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," he said. "I am most sincerely grateful to everyone who has supported the men's soccer program at the University of Cincinnati. 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."

Players on the men's soccer team are eligible to transfer from the school immediately, and will not have to sit out a year. Additionally, Cincinnati will honor the scholarships of the team's student-athletes for "the duration of their academic careers."

The men's soccer program started at Cincinnati in 1973. They have an all-time record of 385-408-84.