Student Media of Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri

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Student Media of Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri

Lindenlink

Student Media of Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri

Lindenlink

The Game’s Not Over: Lindenwood student-athletes share post-cut plans

Lindenwoods+Swimming+and+Diving+Instagram+post+one+day+after+the+announcement+that+their+team+was+getting+cut.
Photo by Lindenwood’s Swimming and Diving Instagram
Lindenwood’s Swimming and Diving Instagram post one day after the announcement that their team was getting cut.

The decision to discontinue 10 athletic teams at Lindenwood on Dec. 1, 2023, impacted the community.

Around 280 students were affected by the cut. However, their scholarships will remain even for those who signed with Lindenwood in 2023 to compete with an athletic team but have not started their college journey yet.

“Everyone is extremely sad as this is something that no one expected.” Lindenwood cyclist Isi Garcia said.

The women’s gymnastics program got more attention than other programs after this announcement, they raised around $450,000 to try and change the decision, but the University stated that “No donor support will impact the announcement.” Therefore, all the following teams will be discontinued after the 2024 season is over:

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  • Men’s tennis
  • Men’s Wrestling
  • Women’s Gymnastics
  • Women’s Swimming and Diving
  • Men’s Swimming and Diving
  • Men’s Lacrosse
  • Men’s Outdoor Track & Field
  • Men’s Indoor Track & Field
  • Men’s and Women’s Cycling

The only team discontinued immediately after the announcement was the NCAA Women’s Field Hockey.

“I’m ultimately attending a different university next semester,” Lindenwood’s field hockey player Audrey Woods said. “I will not be playing field hockey no matter which school I attend, as I decided to end my athletic career the day that the LU field hockey team was cut.”

Each of the students whose team got cut on Dec. 1, 2023, has a different plan, but amongst the most common plans and alternatives that the athletes will follow after their athletic journey at Lindenwood ends are transferring to a different university, staying at Lindenwood, ending their athletic careers for good or a combination of these.

“I know that the majority of the BMX team will transfer except for those who will be seniors next year,” Garcia said. “Most of the team already have offers from other universities.”

As international students, the majority of the athletes’ main concern was their scholarships being taken away, but since the university is respecting them, many of them are staying at Lindenwood.

“I’m going to stay because there are not many options for the discipline I do in cycling,” Garcia said. “I didn’t like the universities that have my discipline and since we get to keep the scholarship, my family and I decided that it was best for me to stay.”

The athletes are not only disappointed by their teams getting cut but also by the university interrupting all their processes and efforts to become bigger programs, get more recognition, and encourage potential lions to want to join their teams.

“The BMX team grew a lot last semester and it was very sad that they took away our opportunity to continue growing. They also took apart a tremendous team that meant a lot to everyone,” Garcia said.

All the athletic teams, excluding Women’s Field hockey, will continue training and competing until the 2024 season ends. Regular preparation, matches, tournaments, and races will be held normally until the end of the school year.

“This semester we still have to compete so we will continue training normally until we run at nationals,” Garcia said.

Not only do athletes whose sports will be discontinued have to deal with the loss that it is not being able to practice the sport that they love, but they also face the emotional challenge of changing their entire social environment since teammates who practice and compete together usually become best friends during their college years.

“I’ll end up staying here even though the sport got cut out. It was really devastating because I was such an avid runner,” Track and field runner J.P Killian said. “It really has made school go so much different for me since it got cut.”

It is a common thought among athletes to transfer to schools near the area. Predominantly, Missouri and Illinois universities are amongst the options for the students, McKendree University being mentioned the most.

“I’m planning on transferring, it’s been tough trying to apply, take visits, and balance being a regular student,” Lindenwood Wrestler Brandon Eusebio said. “But professors have been very helpful with advice. The coaches help this whole process go as smoothly as possible.”

The student-athletes staying at Lindenwood will have to go through the process of adapting to a routine that does not include their sports. The university encourages the athletes to seek advice at the counseling and resource center if they are having a hard time after hearing the university’s decision.

“It is very sad not to be able to continue doing what I like,” Garcia said. “It is a tremendous disappointment because I will no longer be able to compete for the university as I planned for four years.”

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Catalina Corredor, Reporter
Catalina Corredor is a photographer and a reporter for Lindenlink. She is a senior double majoring in Cinema Arts as well as Mass Communication with an emphasis in Media Arts and Production at Lindenwood. She is an international student from Colombia and is involved on-campus with Sigma Sigma Sigma, Synergy Dance Association, and Lindenwood Cinema Arts Association.
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