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IIT Drops Basketball

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Mar 27, 2009 3:45PM

2009_03_iit_b-ball.jpg While much of the country is celebrating March Madness, it's March sadness for members of the Illinois Institute of Technology's basketball players. IIT announced that it's dropping both its men's and women's intercollegiate basketball programs. Playing in the NAIA, the Scarlet Hawks were a part of the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference and played against area schools like Robert Morris College and St. Xavier University. The school, known for its architecture and engineering programs was never mistaken for any kind of athletic powerhouse.

Nonetheless, basketball was a big part of the players lives and a big reason many of them chose to attend IIT. Without any warning before the announcement, players who has expected to continue playing hoops while in school. "It really caught everybody off guard," said Andre Boney, 20, a freshman from St. Louis. "Basketball is a big part of what I wanted to do in college."

In this economy, it's no surprise that the reason for dropping the program was money. Unlike a major NCAA Division I program, the IIT basketball teams cost the school more than they bring in in revenue. University president made the decision, "based on looking at the breadth of student extracurricular experiences and assessing those areas where more investment would positively impact the greatest number of our students." Which means that IIT, like many institutions, is hurting for funds these day and looking for ways to cut back.

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