BREAKING: WKU to Cut Men’s Tennis


Mar 30, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; A general view of the match between Rafael Nadal (ESP) and Novak Djokovic (SRB) during the men

Western Kentucky University is discontinuing it’s men’s tennis program, acording to tweets from the WKU student publication, the Herald, as well as a release on

WKU has fielded a tennis team since 1936 and had a string of success through the 1950s and 1960s in the Ohio Valley Conference, but hasn’t been able to find much success in recent memory, finishing last or second to last in the Sun Belt standings for 15 straight seasons, and has only one conference finish higher than fifth in 29 seasons, which was a fourth-place finishing in 1995.

In the release, WKU Athletic Director Todd Stewart said

"This is certainly a disappointment. Unfortunately, the cumulative effect of three consecutive years of cuts to the overall athletics budget foreces us to make dicisions. […] Our decision to eliminate men’s tennis also enables us to avoid cuts to any other sport program."

Current members of WKU’s men’s tennis team will be able to transfer to play at another university and continue their playing career without having to sit out a year. If they want to remain on the Hill, WKU says their scholarship will remain honored at it’s current level through their senior year provided they remain in good academic standing.

Stewart also seemed proud to point out that, even with the discontinuation of the men’s tennis program, WKU will field 18 sponsored sports in their first year of Conference USA, which is tied for the most among the 14 institutions.

WKU made the “true,” jump to the big, bad world of “big boy,” college athletics when it hired Bobby Petrino as the head coach of it’s football program. Well, with big britches come big financial burdens, and while Stewart says the school has increased both ticket and sponsership revenue over the past two years, it simply isn’t enough to keep men’s tennis. The old saying “it’s a business,” is unfortunately apt here, and again, is just another bump in the road for WKU to reach “big boy,” status.