On March 28, 2014, the university announced that it will transition out of intercollegiate athletics after the 2016-2017 seasons. Meetings were held with coaches, athletics department staff, and student athletes, followed by a general public announcement. The official announcement is below.
From its founding in 1955, BYU–Hawaii has maintained its tradition of providing an excellent education in an environment of religious faith. In its continuing efforts to serve more students, periodically the university evaluates ways to become more effective and efficient. Significant efforts have been made in recent years to increase student enrollment to 3,200, an increase of nearly 20 percent from its current 2,700 students. With the rising costs of providing education, many alternatives have been evaluated to find ways to keep costs as low as possible for students and their families.
Following much discussion, more than ten years of analysis, and consideration of several options, the decision has been made to transition out NCAA athletics at BYU–Hawaii over the next three years. The money being spent on athletics programs will be used to provide educational opportunities for the increasing number of students from around the world who can be served by the university. This transition will affect eleven (11) intercollegiate teams, including: men’s/women’s basketball, men’s/women’s cross country, men’s golf, men’s/women’s soccer, softball, men’s/women’s tennis, and women’s volleyball. The teams currently compete in the NCAA’s Division II PacWest Conference.
The dedication and excellence of coaches, staff, and student athletes have been significant and noteworthy over the many years of Seasider athletics. The efforts of all who have contributed to the tradition of the athletics program are greatly appreciated.
In recent years, trends have emerged in collegiate athletics that are continuing in a direction that will be challenging for an institution the size of BYU–Hawaii. These trends are compounded when considering the remote location of the campus. After careful consideration and thoughtful discussion, the Board of Trustees determined to approve the phase-out of NCAA athletics. The Board, Executive Committee, and university administration feel that the top priority is to serve more students, especially those from the Pacific and Asia. Plans to increase enrollment to 3,200 students are already in progress with the construction of new on-campus housing facilities and the Heber J. Grant building. Additional construction projects are in planning stages with completion expected in the next three years.
The university is working with student athletes’ goals and their desires to participate in college athletics. All committed scholarships will be honored, and the scheduled seasons will be completed. During and after the three-year transition period, full- and part-time coaches and staff will be given access to employment resources and opportunities for placement inside and outside of the university as needed.
October 2015 Statement from university president John S. Tanner