Tulane Suspended Sports Make Spring 2006 Decisions

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Jan. 17, 2006

NEW ORLEANS - Eighty-nine percent of Tulane student-athletes in eight suspended sports have returned to the University for the spring semester, but only the men's golf and women's swimming and diving teams will compete this spring, Green Wave Athletic Director Rick Dickson announced Tuesday. Spring semester classes began on the Tulane campus in New Orleans today.

Most members of the suspended women's golf, men's and women's tennis and men's outdoor track and field teams have returned to the university for the spring semester, but have elected not to compete, thus preserving a year of eligibility. In December, the NCAA granted Tulane student-athletes in each of its suspended sports an additional year of eligibility provided that they do not compete this spring. That ruling also applied to the Green Wave women's soccer team, which played just 12 of its 21 scheduled games this fall.

Of 94 student-athletes on the active rosters of the eight suspended sports, 84 have returned to Tulane, while 10 have transferred. Student-athletes can still transfer to other schools and resume their athletic careers at the end of this academic year, or can remain at Tulane and continue to receive their scholarships through graduation.

"The NCAA's decision to grant each of our student-athletes in the suspended sports an additional year of eligibility has provided them with additional options for their future," Dickson said. "We are going to support each of these student-athletes in whatever decisions they make - whether they remain here through this semester or until they receive a Tulane degree, and whether they compete or not this spring."

Five members of the men's golf squad and 12 women's swimmers elected to continue their 2005-06 seasons. The swimmers return to action this Friday when they play host to Texas A&M at the St. Martin's High School pool, while the men's golf team opens the spring season Feb. 6-7 at the Rice Intercollegiate in Houston.

Tulane announced on December 8, 2005, that as part of the University's renewal plan following the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, eight of the Green Wave's 16 sports programs would be suspended. The continuation of the athletic program was made possible when the NCAA granted Tulane a waiver to operate at the Division I-A level with fewer than the minimum number of sports programs for the next five years, while Conference USA agreed to allow Tulane to remain an active member of the league during that time.

"The cooperation we have received from the NCAA and the support that our conference office, league schools, our fall hosts and the NCAA members throughout the country have shown us throughout the past five months has been truly amazing," Dickson said. "Without their support, we would not still be operating."

Dickson said that over the next month, he will form a Task Force to begin planning to rebuild the athletic program and bring back the suspended programs. The Tulane Athletics Fund, the fundraising arm of the athletic department, has already embarked on a Post-Katrina Rebuilding Drive. To contribute, call 504-865-5794 or go on-line to www.tulane.edu/rebuildingfund and designate your gift for Tulane Athletics.