The Alabama A&M Department of Athletics has formally announced the elimination of men’s soccer from its list of sponsored activities. At the end of the 2010 fall semester the Bulldogs will sponsor 14 sports.
The move to eliminate the program is taking place due to budget cuts that have forced athletic officials to drop the program, which is an NCAA Division I independent and not sponsored by the SWAC, which A&M is a member.
Salah Yousif, the current men’s soccer coach, will lose his head coaching title but will remain with the university as an assistant professor in the department of economics & finance.
The department will honor all existing scholarship agreements and will grant full eligibility releases to any other institution that seeks men’s soccer student-athletes who wish to transfer. NCAA guidelines allow student-athletes who decide to transfer to be immediately eligible for financial aid, practice and competition provided they meet eligibility requirements.
A&M is the only school in the SWAC that has men’s soccer, but the league doesn’t sponsor it as a championship sport. The decision to cut the program won’t affect A&M’s status with the National Collegiate Athletic Conference or the SWAC.
Yousif has had an outstanding coaching career at A&M, posting a 238-121-24 record in 21 years with the Bulldogs. In 25 years as a head coach, Yousif is 286-128-25 overall.
A&M fielded one of its best teams in a number of years in 2009 when it finished 9-5-3, but the Bulldogs struggled last season finishing 4-12-1.
Over the last eight years, A&M has had just two winning seasons. The Bulldogs had four straight losing seasons from 2004 through 2007 before going 8-8-1 in 2008.