Feeling Hurting Economy Maine Trims Athletics Budget

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ORONO, Maine (AP) - The University of Maine, scrambling to ease a projected $871,000 shortfall in its athletics budget, is suspending its volleyball and men's soccer programs.

The school announced Wednesday that the suspensions of the two programs, which takes effect June 30, is expected to save about $600,000 the first year and eventually more than $900,000 annually.

Athletic Director Blake James called the decision "the option of last resort," saying Maine places high value on the opportunities created by athletics.

Maine said it will honor its scholarships to volleyball and soccer players who wish to continue to work toward a degree. Twelve women receive volleyball scholarships, while men's soccer offers 7 1/2 scholarships.