KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The University of Missouri-Kansas City will reduce the total number of athletic teams it fields from 16 to 14 for the 2020-2021 school year.
The men’s tennis and women’s golf teams will play their final seasons during 2019-2020. Kansas City Athletics will begin play in the Summit League in fall 2020 with 14 teams competing in both men’s and women’s basketball, soccer, cross country, indoor track and field and outdoor track and field, plus women’s volleyball, women’s softball, women’s tennis and men’s golf.
University and Athletics officials said the change is being made to support the long-term goals of the department and the university.
“The overriding goal for Kansas City Athletics is comprehensive excellence, and this decision reflects our recognition that we have been spreading our attention and resources over too many programs to achieve excellence,” said Brandon E. Martin, Ph.D., director of athletics. “Kansas City Athletics is committed to providing all of our student-athletes with a high quality, equitable and competitive NCAA Division I experience.”
While it’s never easy to reduce the number of teams, Martin said his leadership team worked hard to find the path that would help sustain the university’s commitment to preserving equity in participation opportunities for both male and female student athletes.
“UMKC remains committed to Division I Athletics with the strategic goal of producing top ranked programs,” Martin said. “Concentrating our efforts on a reduced portfolio of programs gives our teams a better opportunity to succeed and build a larger following.”
Kansas City Athletics will provide campus resources to assist all team members through to graduation. All scholarships will be honored, and the department will assist any student athletes wanting to enter the NCAA Transfer Portal. Student Athletes will be eligible to compete in men’s tennis or women’s golf at any NCAA institution for the 2020-2021 season.
Kansas City Athletics will continue to maintain a well-rounded athletics program that is compatible with UMKC’s Summit League partners.
“We honor and appreciate the efforts of student athletes, coaches and staff involved in women’s golf and men’s tennis over the years,” Martin said. “We are proud of the way they have represented UMKC and they will always be considered part of the Roo Nation and the Kansas City Athletics family.”