McKendree University Fencing Team Disbanded

Discussion in 'Fencing Discussion' started by jdude97, May 31, 2018.

  1. jdude97

    jdude97 Podium

    Apr 10, 2013
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    McKendree University in southern Illinois launched men's and women's NCAA fencing teams in the 2014-15 season. They announced last month that this season was their last: I heard it had to do with McKendree having added to the team to gain their NCAA Division 2 status (which they did provisionally in 2010 and fully in 2014 per Wikipedia) and now disbanding it having gotten their status.
  2. jjefferies

    jjefferies Podium

    Dec 16, 2005
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    Don't understand the ins-and-outs of the NCAA but the implication is that the University provided fencing as a supported sport to fulfill some NCAA requirement and once that was achieved it dropped support, i.e. disbanded the program?

    Is there no fencing club to continue to offer the sport? Was there a coach of some caliber or the other to run the program or was it the students who had to provide their own instruction?

    Should we feel used or something?
  3. Mac A. Bee

    Mac A. Bee is a Verified Fencing ExpertMac A. Bee Podium

    Feb 5, 2008
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    Half hour-distant St. Louis club whose owner was program's coach.
  4. oiuyt

    oiuyt Podium

    Apr 26, 2000
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    That's the implication, but it's not credibly what happened. The fencing program was started in 2014-15, after when McKendree had fully reclassified as Division II. Div II institutions must sponsor a minimum of 10 sports*. As noted in the announcement, "with the discontinuation of its fencing programs, McKendree will offer 32 intercollegiate athletic programs for the 2018-19 academic year." Meeting the minimum requirement was never an issue here.


    * Including at least five women's teams and at least four men's teams, at least two team sports each for men and women, and with both men and women represented in each season.
    jdude97 likes this.
  5. ethanmad

    ethanmad Rookie

    Jun 14, 2018
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    This is news to me; I have (had?) some friends on the McKendree team and am a fencer in the Midwest Fencing Conference. I have not heard anything about this through the MFC.

    I can provide some information on the lead-up:
    It had always been sort of ambiguous to others, and I think some of those on the team, whether McKendree was varsity or not. I had heard that one of their fencers had received a full-ride scholarship for fencing, but they sure didn't seem like a varsity team since they were very thin. (That fencer ended up being removed from the team due to a conflict with the coach.)

    Last year around this time, McKendree fencing was thought to be officially elevated to varsity status. By September 2017, McKendree's coach announced on our conference call that athletics had postponed the move to varsity until next year. McKendree was seeking to join the USACFC during that season and get involved in club fencing while they were still a club team. The team grew and recruited some more pretty decent fencers. They chartered buses to tournaments, whereas most other club teams drive vans, which implied to me a high level of sponsorship by the university, even if they weren't quite varsity.

    Another point is that their coach was much more experienced than most of the other club coaches in the conference.
    Stence likes this.

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