Selma University is discontinuing its athletic department until further notice, President Alvin A. Cleveland Sr. confirmed on Wednesday, Aug. 28.

Selma University has closed its athletics department until further notice, President Alvin A. Cleveland confirmed for the Selma Sun on Wednesday.

The private historically black university on Lapsley Street has been in Selma for more than 140 years. It is best known as a black Baptist Bible college that has produced many preachers, but while at the university, it has offered sports including, men’s and women’s basketball and a successful baseball program led by Coach Adrian Holloway.

Cleveland said the decision to discontinue athletics was due to downsizing. It is unclear if that includes cutting the coach positions.

There is a national trend of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) struggling with slow growth and declining enrollment.

HBCUs were established to provide black students access to higher education at a time when they were discriminated against at mainstream institutions. But since the civil rights movement, black students have been able to attend the college of his or her choice, which impacted applications to HBCUs.

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