This afternoon, Cape Breton University Department of Athletics announced the discontinuation of its women’s varsity volleyball program, effective immediately. The decision will affect 15 student athletes who would be eligible to return to the team.
CBU administration has gone through a long budget process over recent months as part of a $2 million cost savings exercise in order to present a balanced budget to the Board of Governors. Through the budgeting process, decisions were made while being mindful of the financial realities of the post-secondary education sector in Nova Scotia and CBU’s commitment to program quality, accessibility, affordability and diversity, and the modernization and physical safety of its facilities.
The University decision to discontinue women’s volleyball was a difficult one, but one which was necessary to help the university in this exercise. Overall, the Department of Athletics will see a 15 per cent decrease in its 2015-16 budget.
“We are disappointed we will no longer be able to offer a women’s volleyball program, but we also understand the difficult decisions which must be made to sustain our University,” said CBU Director of athletics John Ryan. “We value all our varsity teams; however, we must deal with institutional realities while not compromising our goal of developing nationally prominent teams.”
As a single program and with the AUS interlock agreement with RSEQ, women’s volleyball had the largest operational budget of all five varsity teams at CBU. In order to continue the program and to allow it to flourish and compete both regionally and nationally, it would require an additional investment from the university - an investment which would not have been feasible during a time when cost saving measures were being explored throughout the institution.
All current-student athletes within the women’s volleyball program will continue to have their Athletic Financial Award commitment honoured by the University as long as they remain eligible and meet the criteria laid out for them when they choose to attend CBU. The Department of Athletics will assist any student-athlete who wishes to transfer to another institution to continue playing the sport which they love. They will be able to transfer without penalty and to compete immediately within the CIS.
The University and the Department of Athletics are also committed to continuing to work with grassroots volleyball in our community. Plans are being developed to continue to offer camps and clinics and the Sullivan Fieldhouse will continues to be available as a host site for local and provincial events.