The Queens College Athletics and Recreation Department announced earlier this month that it will no longer sponsor women’s lacrosse as a varsity program.
The decision to eliminate women’s lacrosse will reduce the number of athletic programs at Queens College to 16 total teams, with six men’s and 10 women’s sports teams.
Though the administration claimed in a statement that the decision was made after a careful examination of the athletics’ department budget, the announcement of the program came abruptly to the school’s students, particularly those have athletic scholarships through the program.
“This decision,” stated Interim Director of Athletics Rob Twible, “is being made after pain-staking deliberation. The reality of the situation is that this department is striving to compete at the highest level along with all of our counterparts in Division II and the East Coast Conference. The determination made by the staff in this department is that we can restructure our available resources to best ensure the overall competitiveness of our athletic programs and allow our student-athletes that chance to compete at a heightened level in the future.”
The Queens of Lacrosse, a lacrosse clinic based out of Fresh Meadows, tweeted in response that the program closed with “no warning at all.” It also claimed the players’ scholarships will be cancelled, which turns out not to be the case.
It’s true that student-athletes were not informed of the closure of the program until the time of the announcement, but a spokesperson for Queens College said that the scholarships of all returning student-athletes will be honored “until graduation or until their athletic eligibility expires.”
Athletic eligibility refers to the amount of time that student-athletes have to compete and receive scholarships. In most cases, according to the spokesperson, eligibility is limited to four years. The college will honor scholarships for the lacrosse players until each student-athlete’s eligibility expires or they leave the college, whichever comes first.
The college plans to work with these students to find and transfer to other schools with the lacrosse programs if that’s what they want. School administrators discussed these options in person with the players and the team coach after the announcement.