Appalachian State became the second Division I school to discontinue its men's soccer program. The school announced the cuts on Tuesday, with immediate effect.
"This is a very difficult day for the entire App Family," Director of Athletics Doug Gillin said in a statement. "Our mission is to guide and support our student-athletes in their quest for excellence academically, athletically and socially. After careful and thoughtful review, we determined that we could no longer sustain 20 program offerings in a fiscally responsible manner. Since the move to FBS, App State has sponsored the most sports in the Sun Belt and among the most in the Group of Five. This will bring us in line with most of our peer institutions.
"We appreciate everyone who has supported these Mountaineer programs over the years, including current and former coaches, current and former student-athletes, their families, donors and fans. Your legacy is important to us."
NEWS | Men's soccer, men's tennis and men's indoor track & field discontinued, among other cost-cutting measures https://t.co/4fgqvguLey— App State Athletics (@appstatesports) May 26, 2020
The men's soccer program has a storied history in the college soccer landscape. Thompson Usiyan holds the NCAA DI men's soccer record for goals in a season, bagging 46 during the 1980 campaign. His 109 goals, scored from 1977-80, are most all-time, along with his 255 career points.
With the changes, App State will now sponsor 17 sports, which will still include the women's soccer program. All scholarships for the men's soccer team will be honored as well.
"We take all these measures with heavy hearts, but with the long-term sustainability of App State Athletics at the forefront," Gillin said. "The App Family is known for its strength and resilience. This is a pivotal moment for App State Athletics. It is in this moment that we must take responsible action to ensure our athletics department's ability to fulfill our purpose and mission for years to come."