Delaware will eliminate its men’s outdoor track and field and men’s cross country teams at the conclusion of the 2010-11 academic year. Both teams will be reclassified as club teams.

Officials cited fiscal responsibility and Title IX gender-equity requirements as reasons for the decision. The move came after a study by the athletics department, general counsel and senior university officials that lasted several months. The plan was approved by the university’s board of trustees.

“We explored every avenue in search of alternatives to this action,” said Athletics Director Bernard Muir. “After weighing several possibilities, we concluded that this plan is our most viable. We found ourselves facing two options: Either we had to continue the periodic expansion of programming for women in order to be responsive to their interest and ability, or adjust the current offerings to provide equitable and substantially proportionate participation opportunities for our men and women. Continued expansion of our athletics program is not feasible in this financial climate and, given that reality, the university made the only decision it could.”

The move affects 38 student-athletes, and Muir pledged to continue to support those who wish to transfer and maintain athletics financial aid for those who will remain on campus.

Delaware will sponsor 21 varsity sports after the cuts.

The university announced last month that it would sponsor women’s golf beginning with the 2011-12 academic year.