GREENSBORO – North Carolina A&T Athletics will implement three new varsity sports and reinstate another, Director of Athletics Earl M. Hilton III announced on Friday.
Men’s tennis, men’s and women’s golf and women’s soccer will be phased in over a seven-year period starting with the reactivation of men’s tennis in 2014-15. Hilton also announced the discontinuation of women’s swimming at A&T by 2015-16. A&T will honor all swimming scholarships until that time.
“We are committed to moving all of our athletic programs into a position where they can compete for conference championships because as it stands now, winning a conference title gives us our best chance to advance to an NCAA playoff,” said Hilton.
“Our swimming program has produced great athletes and outstanding citizens in our society. Many of our swimmers have been tremendously successful after graduating from North Carolina A&T. We must, however, move our department to where every athlete has the opportunity to compete for a conference and NCAA title. I don’t see a scenario where the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference will sponsor swimming in the foreseeable future.”
Men’s tennis was discontinued in 2006. A&T will initiate the start of men’s and women’s golf in 2016-17 and women’s soccer is scheduled for 2020.
“We are excited about bringing back men’s tennis,” Hilton added. “We already have a history with the sport, so I don’t believe it will be difficult to reinstate the program. The changes to the structure of our department put us in line to meet some of the goals spelled out in the 2020 A&T Preeminence. The addition of golf, tennis and soccer allows us to recruit student-athletes from a diversity of backgrounds, while also offering more opportunities for young people to receive an education.”