MORAGA, Calif.— Saint Mary’s College of California Athletic Department announced today the reclassifying of women’s lacrosse from a varsity sport to a club sport following the 2017 season.
The decision was reached following lengthy discussions from the athletic strategic plan committee and proposed to the board of trustees this past winter, which was approved at their spring meetings.
“These are never easy decisions, but we feel this will be in the best interest of our student-athletes moving forward,” Saint Mary’s President James Donahue said. “By reclassifying women’s lacrosse to a club sport, this will better align athletics with its peer institutions in the West Coast Conference.”
Saint Mary’s will honor all existing women’s lacrosse scholarships and transition to a club sport this summer in order to participate beginning in fall of 2017. This move to a club sport will better align women’s lacrosse with other West Coast Conference peer institutions. Currently Santa Clara, San Diego, Loyola Marymount, Pepperdine, Gonzaga, Portland and BYU, all have women’s club lacrosse teams.
The college is offering career, academic and personal counseling services during the transition period, and has been in contact with the NCAA to support those student-athletes who choose to pursue athletic opportunities at other colleges and universities.
Saint Mary’s will now sponsor 16 NCAA varsity sports, nine women’s teams and seven men’s teams, beginning July 1, 2017, with all sports being members of the West Coast Conference.
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