By Crystal Swartz
After 78 years of existence, the Men’s Varsity Tennis Program came to a quiet end at East Stroudsburg University last semester. Director of Athletics Tom Gioglio recently addressed the deciding factors that brought this long-standing program to a memory from the past.
Crystal Swartz: Specifically, why was the program discontinued?
Tom Gioglio: Currently, there is not enough financial support to fund 22 sports at East Stroudsburg University.
CS: Who decided to discontinue it?
TG: The President makes the final decision. However, the Vice President and I supported the discontinuation of the men’s tennis program.
CS: When was that decision made?
TG: The decision was made in the 2009-2010 academic year after getting input from an outside consultant and athletic department members.
CS: When were the players notified?
TG: The student athletes were notified in Spring 2010 that the 2010-2011 season would be their last season of competition.
CS: Is there a strong interest in the sport from incoming students?
CS: Does ESU plan on continuing the women’s tennis program next year?
CS: Do you know if any other PASSHE schools cut their tennis programs?
TG: I’m not aware of tennis. However, Kutztown recently dropped men’s soccer and swimming and diving, and Mansfield dropped football.
CS: How do you feel about such a time-honored sport here at ESU coming to an end?
TG: I am not happy to see sports be discontinued, however due to the economy and the reduction of state support, discontinuing sports is one of many strategies that we will have to utilize to operate efficiently. Another important factor for why we discontinued Men’s tennis was the cost of bringing the tennis facilities up to competitive standards. It would cost well over a million dollars to replace the courts. Currently we have enough courts to facilitate one team.