UBC has filed its response in the B.C. Supreme Court to the civil claim launched by 18 members of the women’s softball team. The claim stems from a decision of the university that the team would not retain its varsity status after September 2015. The university reached this decision after undertaking a comprehensive sports review process.
The university does not believe the plaintiffs’ claim has merit and will defend its right to make such decisions in court. The university is entitled to review and make changes to its varsity sports program. Prior to making changes the university consulted with its varsity teams and the university athletics community through its sports review process.
UBC announced the final results of a sport review of its varsity teams in February. All 29 teams were carefully evaluated during the process. Twenty-four teams retained varsity status and five were realigned to competitive club status. The change will take effect in the academic year commencing September 2015.
As part of a planned one-year transition, the softball team will continue to play at the varsity level next year. The university also announced earlier that it will honour existing athletic scholarships, irrespective of varsity status, for the duration of athletes’ eligibility.