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Concordia University Ann Arbor discontinuing athletics after 2024-25 academic year

Posted at 12:11 PM, Jun 14, 2024

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WXYZ) — Concordia University in Ann Arbor will discontinue its athletics programs following the 2024-25 academic year, President Erik Ankerberg said on Friday.

In a letter posted to the website, "After the 2024-25 academic year, all intercollegiate athletic programs on the Ann Arbor campus will be discontinued."

It comes amid financial challenges the university has been facing. In March, the university announced that it would remain openfor the 2024-25 academic year, one month after announcing the financial instability.

Concordia University Ann Arbor will remain open next school year

According to Ankerberg, all sports that can be conducted with adequate roster sizes next year will continue, and from current reports, roster sizes for most sports meet the requirements.

"Initially, our leadership team hoped to preserve as many athletic programs as possible beyond the 2024-25 academic year. However, upon further analysis of our financial model, it became evident that continuing these programs in Ann Arbor beyond the upcoming year is not feasible," Ankerberg wrote.

In the march announcement, Rev. John M. Berg, who is the Chair of CUWAA Board of Regents, said remaining open means the university will have to make some staffing cuts.

Tim Relou, a senior super, tells 7 News Detroit he came to the United States from the Netherlands to play soccer for Concordia.

The athletic training major said of the cuts to the athletics, "It was in the air a little bit. But of course, we had our hopes that it wouldn’t be that way.”

“Most people here on campus are athletes so it affects everyone. It’s just a shame. It’s a nice campus and it’s a really nice school as well," he said.

Chance Childers, an athletic administrator and football coach, tells 7 News Detroit, “As soon as the announcement came out, as a university and as an athletic department, we’ve been out in front of this and have been as transparent as we can.”

He said most student athletes are pledging to return next year.

“All these kids have said, ‘Oh, we committed to these people. We’re like ride or die cardinals in this thing. We’re going to see this thing through and make some memories,'" Childers explained.

As a result of the retention, he said the university will be prepared to compete in all sports.

Childers said, “We have rosters for all of our athletic teams which is significant and miraculous and I think it, that speaks so much about the people.”

“And it’s our responsibility here, ya know, as leaders to make sure these young people experience Jesus, get to have just like the richest experience they can have, many memories and love ‘em up," he added.