West Liberty University has decided to discontinue its men’s and women’s varsity tennis programs.

West Liberty University interim President Dr. Cathy Monteroso said the decision was made in order to support the continued fiscal stability of WLU athletics.

University administrators and advisors say they met with members of both teams on Friday to inform the student-athletes of the decision.

The university says they pledged to support all of the affected student-athletes whether they opt to finish their degrees at West Liberty or choose to continue to pursue a combination of intercollegiate tennis and academics at another institution.

“While we regret having to eliminate the tennis teams,” Dr. Monteroso said, “we face budgetary issues that require several changes to reduce our expenses. West Liberty University will always remember our tennis programs with fondness and pride. We wish everyone associated well as they move on.”

    The move reduces the number of varsity intercollegiate sports at the university from 20 to 18: Men’s and Women’s Basketball; Men’s and Women’s Indoor Track and Field; Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track and Field; Men’s and Women’s Soccer; Men’s and Women’s Golf; Men’s and Women’s Cross Country; Acrobatics & Tumbling; Softball; Volleyball; Baseball; Football and Wrestling.

The school said the move also brings the WLU athletic department more in line with Mountain East Conference and national NCAA Division II business models. The average NCAA Division II school sponsors 16 intercollegiate sports while only six of the 12 MEC schools are currently offering men’s and women’s tennis as a varsity sport.