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University of the Pacific to discontinue field hockey

Dec 3, 2018

University of the Pacific announced today the difficult decision to discontinue its NCAA Division I field hockey program on June 30, 2019, as part of the university's budget reduction plan.

The university made the decision now to allow student-athletes the opportunity to talk with their families over the winter break and time to help them decide their best educational and athletic options. Whether student-athletes stay at Pacific or transfer to another school to continue their sport, the university is committed to ensuring a smooth and successful transition for them.

"It was heartbreaking to have to tell the field hockey team earlier today that we were discontinuing the program. A comprehensive review of all programs was conducted and we considered multiple options to avoid eliminating any program," said Janet Lucas, the director of athletics. "Our field hockey student-athletes and coaches are very talented and dedicated individuals who have proudly represented Tiger Athletics. We will support the players in continuing their education and graduating from Pacific, which I hope they choose, or we will assist them in considering other programs."

There are 18 student-athletes on the field hockey team with eight of them graduating by this summer. The university will honor the scholarships of the eligible student-athletes who remain to support their graduation from Pacific. The university's Student-Athlete Services staff will also continue to provide tutoring, mentoring, life skills programming and access to the Cedric and June Dempsey Center for Academic Excellence.

"This is a difficult day for the Pacific community and we wish there were another option to this very hard decision," said Pacific President Pamela A. Eibeck. "We're very proud of these student-athletes' accomplishments and their commitment to pursue excellence. They are outstanding ambassadors and representatives of the best of Pacific. We are also very grateful to the coaches, assistant coaches and staff for the leadership, development and care that they have given to our students."

Field hockey competes in the America East Conference, with most teams on the East Coast. It is one of four in California - the others being UC Davis, Cal Berkeley and Stanford - to make up the West Division of the America East Conference. America East notified the four California associate member institutions in field hockey this fall that this opportunity will be eliminated following the 2019-20 season. This change will put the burden on individual schools to schedule games, and for these four programs, it will eliminate automatic bids to NCAA national tournaments after winning conference tournaments.

The discontinuance of the field hockey program results in a nearly $1 million reduction in Pacific Athletics' budget as part of the university's charge for all units to reduce spending to help sustain Pacific's long-term plan. The most recent athletic program to be discontinued was men's volleyball in 2014. The athletics department does not plan to eliminate other programs.

The university carefully considered the impact this decision might have on its ongoing Title IX athletic equity compliance and determined that its female and male student-athletes' participation opportunities will continue to be substantially proportionate to its full-time undergraduate enrollment in compliance with Title IX.

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