On Friday, the Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU) Board of Regents in Portales announced that the university would be cutting its men’s soccer program “with the long-term interest of all our Eastern New Mexico students in mind,” according to athletic director Matt Billings.
According to a press release from the school, “The Greyhound soccer team became an NCAA varsity program in 2004. Most recently, during the 2019 season, the Hounds posted the most wins in a season in program history with an overall record of 12-5-1. Overall the program compiled a 75-134-35 record in 16 seasons.”
“All current men’s soccer student-athletes will have their athletic scholarships honored if they choose to remain at Eastern New Mexico. Those wishing to transfer will be given assistance moving to another program.”
The news comes as other programs across the country have been cut for good amid the COVID-19 pandemic, where lockdowns have virtually stopped all playing of college sports altogether, especially in New Mexico.
In October 2020, NBC News reported that “Twenty-six colleges and universities, from Stanford to Dartmouth College, have cut more than 90 sports programs.” That list has only grown since.
Another tracker from Business of College Sports lists many other schools that have permanently cut programs, including universities such as Stanford, Dartmouth, Brown, and others.
The ENMU soccer program joins other entities across the state closing for good amid the pandemic, which has forced many college sports teams to flee the state altogether and play in states like Nevada and Texas.
For example, the 2020 New Mexico Bowl took place in Frisco, Texas due to Gov. Lujan Grisham’s strict COVID-19 lockdowns, which have shuttered countless communities resulting in financial ruin.