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The Albany State University gold team poses with their trophy after winning the SIAC championship earlier this spring. It was the third straight conference championship for the Golden Rams.

ALBANY — The Albany State Golden Rams golf team has won the SIAC championship all three years the program has been in existence, but it wasn’t enough to save the program. Albany State announced Wednesday that the men’s golf team and the men’s cross country team would be discontinued after next year because of budget cuts.

“This is a tough decision that will allow ASU to realign resources in support of our overall athletics program,” said ASU President Marion Ross Fedrick. “We will continue to focus on building champions in the classroom and on the fields and courts of competition. We appreciate the commitment of our coaches and all athletics personnel impacted and are grateful for their service to our students, institution and the Albany community.”

The University has implemented a plan to strategically realign resources to build a sustainable athletics program, the news release said. Reductions across multiple sports included decreases in scholarships, operational expenses and personnel.

According to the university’s

website, the cost cutting move will save the $112,000 it costs annually to run the two programs plus the additional savings once the student-athletes have completed their time at ASU or transferred to another institution. This academic year, ASU athletics will realize a planned reduction of an estimated $600,000. Budget reductions and realignment of resources began in the 2018-19 academic year, the release from the university said.

The cuts will affect 13 current athletes on scholarship at Albany State. The university’s website said it will continue to honor the scholarships of the 13 athletes on the golf and cross country teams presently enrolled at ASU. Under NCAA transfer rules, a student-athlete could transfer to another institution and be eligible to practice and compete immediately if an institution has discontinued the program.

According to the Albany State website, each of the university’s athletic programs were analyzed and that data was used to develop a strategy that included cost savings, compliance, limiting the impact on student-athletes and personnel, and continuing the development of a world class student-athlete experience.

“We understand the impact this has on our student-athletes, coaches and the department. We are grateful for the student-athletes who have committed themselves to our athletics program and University,” said ASU Interim Athletics Director Jackie Nicholson.

Albany State University will sponsor 11 sports programs and continue to be a leading member of NCAA Division II, the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) and the Peach Belt Conference. These programs include football, baseball, men’s track and field, women’s track and field, women’s cross country, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, volleyball, softball, tennis and soccer.

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