Community Message

January 23, 2024

Dear Member of the LMU Athletics Community,

After careful consideration, I have made the hard but necessary decision to discontinue six intercollegiate sports programs at the conclusion of the 2023-24 competitive season. The impacted sports are: men’s rowing, men’s cross country, men’s track and field, women’s rowing, women’s track and field, and women’s swimming.
We informed the coaches and student-athletes associated with the impacted sports earlier this evening. We continue to hold these student-athletes, coaches, and teams in high esteem, and we honor their lifelong passions, their commitments, and their achievements in their respective sports. These are our friends, classmates, colleagues, and members of the Lion family, and we will provide our support and care to each of them through this transition.
We realize that this is unexpected and unsettling news, and I’d like to explain a few considerations about how and why we arrived at this difficult decision. LMU currently offers 20 sports programs with more than 400 student-athletes, the most in the West Coast Conference. Our goal is to provide the best student-athlete experience possible, and we are better positioned to achieve our objectives when we concentrate our finite resources on fewer programs.
These changes also reflect the realities of the transformational changes impacting college athletics nationally. The NCAA landscape is changing rapidly, and schools of all sizes must adapt to provide the best student-athlete experience while becoming even more competitive. LMU is no exception. Finally, and importantly, we are committed to ensuring that all of the decisions associated with our sports offerings are aligned with NCAA, WCC, and legal requirements. Within these parameters and from a position of strength, we conducted a comprehensive review of all our sports offerings and evaluated several key considerations. This strategic move ensures greater LMU Athletics successes and opportunities by making deliberate choices about the sports programs we will support into the future.
We are all part of the Lion pride, and we are all concerned about the future of those impacted by this decision. We care deeply about our student-athletes and coaches, and we are committed to providing them with support resources, assistance, and guidance. Our goal is to help each student-athlete discover the path forward in their athletic and academic endeavors, whether at LMU or elsewhere. As we move forward, we will honor athletic financial aid for impacted student-athletes who remain at LMU for their undergraduate studies. The university will continue offering club sports teams; under the supervision of LMU Student Affairs, the university will continue supporting students seeking to compete at the club level. We will also work with our coaches as they move forward with their careers.
While I acknowledge there are many more questions than answers, we will work through next steps together, ensuring that those impacted receive the support they deserve with respect and care. We have also prepared more detailed FAQs that we will update as issues arise. This is undoubtedly a challenging time for many within our community, but I am confident that this is the best decision to move LMU Athletics forward and to provide an outstanding experience worthy of our students and our university’s ambitions.
Craig Pintens
LMU Athletic Director