Delaware State University President Dr. Tony Allen has defended a decision to discontinue Wesley College, athletics.
Delaware State University is acquiring the financially troubled college effective this summer. Wesley’s athletic program will end after this spring.
On Monday, Wesley College President Robert Clark announced that Delaware State University decided not to continue the athletic program.
“We recognize the deep disappointment that the Wesley College community is feeling after that announcement,” Allen wrote.
“It was not an easy decision. Wesley College athletes and coaches across the board have carved out a proud tradition in DIII sports, and we made every effort to consider its long-term sustainability. To that end, the university privately fundraised to engage two independent management consulting firms to analyze the viability of simultaneously operating a DI and a DIII Athletic program,” Allen wrote. “Those analyses were summed up in months of review, engagement with diverse subject matter experts, including officials from the NCAA, and a financial exploration of the University’s capacity to support two comprehensive programs. Among the options considered was a scenario that delayed discontinuing D-III athletics by at least one additional academic year.”
Allen continued, “After hearing the consultants’ reports and sharing those findings with Wesley’s leadership, our decision was clear. The programmatic, regulatory, and financial hurdles to operating two Athletic programs were either too high and/or uncertain and would have steered us away from the original intent of the acquisition — more low-cost, high-quality educational opportunities each year for a larger number of deserving young Delawareans and a broader impact on Dover, Kent County, and the state.”
According to Allen, Wesley’s downtown Dover campus will become the “Wesley College of Health and Behavioral Sciences.”
“The new college will significantly enhance the number of aspiring health sciences professionals among our students, in addition to the many Wesley academic programs that will continue under the Delaware State banner,” wrote.
“Allen colluded, “This fall we expect to welcome hundreds of Wolverines as new Hornets. This will be a challenge prospect for many of them, but I know that our community will welcome them with open arms and hearts. That’s what we do here.”
Allen issued the statement citing “media reporting that was less than accurate, I am releasing the statement below, and wanted to share it with our entire community.
Coverage has largely focused on the achievements of Wesley’s athletics over the years and comments from Wesley coaches who were disappointed but not surprised by the decision.