Monday, February 2, 2015

The cost of University athletics


While at the Hilton Innvitational and Camel City Elite races at JDL Fast Track Indoor track on 1/31/15, I noticed a shirt that had #wingsclipped as well as emblazoned on the back.  What's this, I thought and made a note of it. I just now checked it out.  Apparently, UNC Wilmington is eliminating its track and field program at the end of the Spring 2015 season.  According to a news report, it currently has 93 athletes and 4 coaches.   Some of the athletes who have already made a mark have been or are currently being recruited by other colleges.  Many athletes, however, are invested in their program of studies and say it is not so easy to switch schools.

Those who are mainly interested in a future track career, and are talented, will probably leave.  Those who are intent upon their degree, may not.  Those that stay will most certainly have lost out when it comes to T&F, since school affiliation is needed for any NCAA awards or recognition.  Perhaps they can maintain their edge by competing in Open events as unaffiliated, obviously picking up the expense to do so themselves.

There is certainly a cost in maintaining a sports program.  Be it equipment, uniforms, or coaches, as well as the expenses involved in traveling to non-local meets.  Even universities must watch their expenses.  But  I wonder how UNCW's basketball program is faring.  Save the more popular sport if choices must be made. Logical.  But sad for those associated with the one being cut.  And a loss more than likely to the track and field community over time.


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