“The University Strategic Planning Committee is concluding its work planning the future direction and priorities for Xavier,” says Rogers. “Part of that process required University divisions to look within their current budgets and identify substantial funds to be cut and reallocated to fund new University and department initiatives. After careful and complete consideration of all possible solutions and deliberation and consultation with President Mike Graham and Vice President John Kucia, I have made the decision to discontinue men’s and women’s rifle as an intercollegiate sport at Xavier.
“This decision has been extremely difficult for all of us. We feel for the student-athletes and the alumni and truly appreciate the outstanding manner in which the rifle program has represented Xavier University over the years.”
Currently, Xavier sponsors rifle as a mixed sport for both men and women and is one of 18 schools nationwide that does so. Seven schools sponsor rifle as a men’s sport and 11 sponsor rifle as a women’s sport. A total of 36 schools sponsor rifle as a varsity sport.
Xavier has qualified for the NCAA Rifle Championship in every year since 1990 and is one of only two teams to finish in the top-five in that event in each of the last five years. Xavier rifle’s best showings are a pair of runner up finishes in 2003 and 2000.
Under head coach Alan Joseph’s guidance, 17 Xavier rifle shooters earned a total of 51 All-American awards. The program also produced two Olympians. Jason Parker, Class of 1996, competed in both the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games and Thrine Kane, a 2003 graduate, competed in the 2000 Olympic Games.
“All nine members of the rifle team will continue to receive their athletically related financial aid and, should they wish to transfer, will be given immediate permission to contact other rifle programs,” says Rogers. “I am hopeful that a good number of those young men and women decide to stay at Xavier. We will give these student-athletes our full support as they have just learned of this decision.”