Winthrop University: Winthrop Athletics Discontinues Men's And Women's Tennis
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Winthrop Athletics Discontinues Men's And Women's Tennis

June 19, 2020

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Currently enrolled students will retain their scholarships through the completion of their fourth academic year if they choose to remain at Winthrop.
  • The students that signed National Letters of Intent for the 2020-21 year will retain scholarships for the upcoming year if they enroll at Winthrop.

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA - Winthrop University Athletics announced it has discontinued the sports of men’s and women’s tennis effective immediately following a vote by the Board of Trustees on June 19.

Currently enrolled students will retain their scholarships through the completion of their fourth academic year if they choose to remain at Winthrop. Per NCAA rules, the students are immediately eligible for competition if they transfer to another institution, provided they are academically eligible. The students that signed National Letters of Intent for the 2020-21 year will retain scholarships for the upcoming year if they enroll at Winthrop.

Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Ken Halpin has reached out to each of the students impacted and the department will help with the upcoming decisions and potential transitions. There are 12 returning students in the programs currently. There are three students who signed a National Letter of Intent with Winthrop Tennis this year.

“When I came to Winthrop I never thought for a second that this type of decision would have to be made,” stated Halpin. “Everyone at the university is heart-broken right now and our number-one focus is to take care of our student-athletes and coaches being directly impacted by this decision.”

Winthrop University has made this decision as a result of the COVID-19 financial impact, joining more than 148 other programs across all divisions and classifications of intercollegiate athletics.

“It’s very sad to see a program end, especially a successful one such as the Winthrop women’s tennis team,” said Women’s Tennis Head Coach Vivian Segnini. “I’m sorry for Cid Carvalho because I know all the work that he put in for more than 30 years in order to build this program and I’m sorry for all the players that are so passionate about representing Winthrop and had their lives impacted by this decision.”

The women’s tennis program’s success includes 21 Big South Conference Championship titles (1994, 1995, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019) and three runner-up finishes. No other league member, current or former, has won more than three tournament titles. The women have been regular season champions 20 times. The program has earned 17 NCAA Tournament bids and in 2018 made program history with their first NCAA win, a 4-3 victory over 20th-ranked Auburn.

“I am deeply saddened and disappointed in Winthrop’s decision to discontinue the men’s and women’s tennis programs,” said Men’s Tennis Head Coach John Collins. “There are so many incredible players, coaches and people that have poured their hearts into this program, and I am so thankful for each of them. The legacy of our Winthrop tennis family will live on as the bond in our program transcends tennis.”

The Winthrop men's program captured nine regular season championships (1997, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2018), seven tournament titles (1997, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2010, 2014, 2015) and 12 runner-up finishes.

With the change, Winthrop will sponsor 16 NCAA sports, nine for women and seven for men, in addition to the non-NCAA ESports program.

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Last Updated: 10/4/21