Southeastern University decided this weekend to drop its three-sport athletic program because of financial constraints.
The small, private school in Southwest Washington has offered soccer and men's and women's basketball for the last 25 years. But on Friday, President James G. Bond told Athletic Director Clayton Singleton that sports no longer would be a priority.
"I can understand the financial constraints," Singleton said last night. "The dropping enrollment (about 700 undergraduates) just can't support athletics anymore. But I feel bad because the returning athletes won't be able to find scholarships elsewhere at this late date."
Harry Miller, who resigned as president of Southeastern July 22, had indicated in April that he would continue athletics for another year on a trial basis, Singleton said. But Bond, who took over last week, told Singleton that Miller's commitment would not be honored and that all athletics, including intramural tennis, would be abolished.
Singleton has been at Southeastern nine years, six years as coach of men's basketball. He said the soccer team was "very upset" when informed of the news on Saturday. "The soccer players were holding an organizational meeting and planning to begin practice soon," Singleton said.
Southeastern is a member of District 29 of the NAIA. The soccer team, which played its games at Carter Barron, had a 4-6 record last year. Men's basketball, which played its games at Gonzaga High School, finished 5-20. The women's team, which also played at Gonzaga, was 3-8.
Singleton, who works part-time at Southeastern, hasn't given up hope that athletics can exist in some form at the school. "I'm still trying to find out if we can operate on a reduced budget," he said.