By: Jacob Murphey | WCTV Eyewitness News
October 31, 2019
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) – A former Rattler tennis player called Thursday "a sad day" for Florida A&M University. His comments came after university officials announced that the men's tennis and cross country teams would be cut.
The move comes as the school tries to balance the budget and overcome a $2.4 million deficit.
Lenin Mongerie is a tennis instructor for the City of Tallahassee. He's spent 17 years teaching the sport he loves, after attending FAMU as a scholarship athlete.
"One of the best experiences I had," he said. "I never would have been able to go to college if it wasn't for FAMU, and I know that's [true] for a lot of other people."
Mongerie said he was troubled to hear his former program was getting the ax.
"Cutting the program is a devastating thing," he said.
He said pulling the plug on a program creates doubt for future stars and their families.
"When you don't know the future of a particular program, you're not willing to send your kids and you're not willing to say hey... go to FAMU," he said.
"Cause you don't know if tomorrow the kids get there it's going to be cut."
This isn't the first time the program faced unpleasant news. In 2014, WCTV reported the suspension of men's tennis and golf. Mongerie says alumni of the program wrote letters, eventually securing a return of tennis to campus.
"The budget is not like a football scholarship," he said.
"You can reach out to a lot of people, former players that are willing to give a lot of what they have to make it stay."