PEORIA, Ill. (AP) _ Bradley will discontinue its men's and women's swimming and diving teams at the end of this academic year.

Athletic director Ken Kavanagh said Friday the move was based on budgetary issues and the desire to raise the competitive level of the entire athletic department.

``Unfortunately, as a private institution with finite resources, we are placed at a competitive disadvantage in certain sports,'' Kavanagh said in a statement. ``Informing our swimmers and coaches certainly rates as one of the darkest moments in my career.''

Bradley will honor all scholarships for team members who decide to stay at the school and will assist those who want to transfer to other institutions, Kavanagh said.

Bradley's 2001-02 swimming and diving season opens Oct. 13 with the Missouri Valley Shootout.