BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Southern University at New Orleans will suspend all of its athletics programs at the end of the academic year, trying to save money and dig itself out of years of financial problems.
The Southern University Board of Supervisors approved the move Friday without objection, at the request of SUNO Interim Chancellor James Ammons.
"This is one of the most difficult decisions I've made as an administrator," Ammons said.
He said while he understands the importance of athletics programs to attracting students and drawing alumni support, the campus must focus on protecting its academic programs rather than continuing to steer money to sports.
He said a recent budget analysis determined significant shortfalls because of athletics operations, and he told the board the school will save $534,000 by cutting the programs.
"It's our academics that matter most," Ammons told the board.
The historically black public university is on probation by its accrediting agency amid continuing financial woes that have stretched over years as enrollment has fallen.
All intercollegiate athletics programs will be suspended after the 2019-20 academic year, with no decision on when or if they'll resume at a later date. According to its website, SUNO currently has men's and women's basketball and track and field programs, along with women's volleyball.