Cheyney to drop NCAA Division II, PSAC membership

Category:  Sports
Wednesday, March 21st, 2018 at 5:35 PM

Cheyney University of Pennsylvania announced on Tuesday they would no longer be an NCAA Division II member school nor a Pennsylvania State Athletic College (PSAC) member school following the conclusion of the 2017-18 school year.

A press release issued on Tuesday by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) on behalf of Cheyney said the school’s remaining sports teams — men’s and women’s basketball and women’s volleyball — will continue unaffiliated from any associations next school year, and they will look for a different athletic association to join in the future.

The announcement follows the school’s previous decision to discontinue its football program in an effort to improve their financial situation. Tuesday’s release also referenced financial reasons for the decision.

“These are extremely difficult but necessary decisions that are being made on behalf of our entire student population, and to help ensure the university’s future,” Cheyney President Aaron A. Walton said in the release. “We want to continue to provide our student athletes the opportunity to participate as part of the overall college experience.”

Walton became Cheyney’s interim president in May of 2017 when the school’s accreditation was threatened, and was formally named the university’s president by the PASSHE Board of Governors in November in an effort to provide continuity while the school makes drastic programming and administrative changes.

The PSAC confirmed in a separate press release Tuesday that Cheyney officials consulted conference officials while they came to their decision. Since PSAC rules require members to be NCAA Division II members, Cheyney’s decision to withdraw their NCAA membership effectively required them to leave the PSAC as well.

PSAC Commissioner Steve Murray said in the statement that the university’s decision would be a “sad loss for our entire PSAC family.”

“These are difficult financial times in higher education throughout our nation and particularly in the commonwealth, and very difficult decisions have to be made at every level,” Murray said.

The PSAC will have a hole to fill as it moves forward, but intends to replace Cheyney by adding another university to its membership sometime in the future, according to the release.

Christopher Rosato Jr. can be reached at sports.spectator@gmail.com.

Tags: sports

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