SIOUX FALLS, SD -
USF men's soccer players will be busy shopping their talents after the university shut down their program. The Cougars made that announcement yesterday shocking many of the young men on the roster.
For student-athletes, it's a tough decision to pick a college you want to devote your time and talents to for four years. Now USF players are going to have to go through that process all over again.
"I went to USF for an education and to play soccer. That was my main reason for going there, and now it's gone. So you pretty much have to wish for a try out and make the best of it," freshman midfielder Garrett Reta said.
Recently, the team was called in for a meeting thinking it would be about their new home in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association. To the players' surprise, they heard something quite the opposite.
"My stomach just sank. But it's a business and it's a school, they have to run it. It just stinks they had to cut soccer," freshman midfielder Luke Steinborn said.
After adding up the cost of travel and the hours missed in class, the university made just that, a business decision, for its future.
"This is a decision that ultimately had to be made and there just isn't a good time to do it. For the strength of the department, let's re-allocate resources to support the programs that we feel have a future in the Northern Sun," USF Athletic Director Kevin Hesser said.
Now that USF has its future in line it's up to the athletes and staff to do the same. For the younger players they still have time, but what about the upper classmen?
"Even worse than me. I still have three more years to play and they're going to have one to two. Most of our seniors are probably just going to hang up the boots and call it quits," Reta said.
The players scholarships are still in tact until the end of this school year and the university is assisting players in their search to find new teams.
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