SSU to discontinue men’s and women’s tennis and water polo teams

April 21, 2020

PRESS CONTACTS: Paul Gullixson
Associate Vice President of Strategic Communications | 707.494.3329

(Rohnert Park) — As part of a continuing strategic effort to focus on the university's institutional mission while addressing current budget challenges, Sonoma State University announced today that it will discontinue the men's and women's tennis teams as well as the women’s water polo team at the conclusion of the 2019-20 academic year.

This decision, which impacts the university’s three sports not sponsored by the California Collegiate Athletic Association, will provide nearly $800,000 in funds for re-allocation and reinvestment in SSU’s intercollegiate athletics strategic priorities.

With 14 sports teams, Sonoma State University previously had among the most athletic programs of any NCAA Division II institution within the CSU system. Only Cal State East Bay had more. The decision to discontinue these three programs will allow the university to enhance the experience for future student-athletes while providing the best opportunity for competing successfully within the CCAA.

“This was a difficult decision driven in no small part by the new financial realities facing our state, the CSU system and our university,” said SSU President Judy K. Sakaki. “As disappointing as this decision is, this leaves us in a better position going forward to support our existing athletic teams while protecting our commitment to student success in academics.”

Those student-athletes in these impacted programs who currently receive athletic aid and choose to remain at Sonoma State will continue to receive their financial support during the 2020-2021 academic year. As required under NCAA rules, the student-athletes in these sports will be granted immediate athletic eligibility if they choose to transfer. The university will assist them in the transfer process.

Stan Nosek, co-interim Athletic Director at Sonoma State, said Sonoma State remains committed to its future in NCAA Division II athletics. 

“We are saddened that it has become necessary to reduce the number of intercollegiate sports being sponsored by Sonoma State, particularly the impact this will have on our high-performing student-athletes and excellent coaching staffs,” said Nosek. “This is a decision we’ve made as a result of our inability to adequately fund and serve 14 intercollegiate teams into the future. The savings realized by retaining only those sports sponsored through the CCAA will be reinvested into providing scholarships and services in support of student-athlete’s athletic and academic success.”

This decision will leave the university with 11 sports teams: Men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s golf, baseball, softball, women’s cross country, women’s track and field, and women’s volleyball.

Sonoma State is required to have a minimum of 10 teams to compete in the California Collegiate Athletic Association. None of the three sports that are being discontinued is currently sponsored by the CCAA. 

For more information, visit the Somoma State University Athletics FAQ.

ABOUT US: With a student population of about 9,000, Sonoma State is a regionally serving public university committed to educational access and excellence. Guided by our core values and driven by a commitment to the liberal arts and sciences, Sonoma State delivers high-quality education through innovative programs that leverage the economic, cultural and natural resources of the North Bay. See more news from SSU at

Media Contact

Paul Gullixson