21. September 2020 - 0:00
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Save Richmond Indoor and Outdoor Track | University of Richmond | Monday, 21. September 2020

As you may or may not have heard, the University of Richmond has recently cut it's Indoor and Outdoor Track programs. The following is the Richmond men's team statement regarding the Board of Trustees decision to cut the track and field program…

On September 21st, Athletic Director Jim Miller informed us that the board of trustees had come to the decision to cut the Men’s Indoor and Outdoor Track and field programs. We were shocked and dismayed by this decision. Many questions have been left unanswered and no board member was present at the meeting to answer any questions. The team feels completely blindsided by the board’s decision and would like to know what has changed in the past six months. In the spring we were told that there would not be a lacrosse program for the foreseeable future. We were told that the decision to cut our teams, along with men’s soccer, would cause the ‘least disruption’. While it is true that our cross-country program will remain as a Division I sport, anyone who takes the time to acquire the slightest knowledge of our sport would know that the elimination of our track programs severely cripples our cross-country program to the point at which it will die soon. Our sports are intertwined and inseparable; the removal of both track programs puts us at a huge disadvantage when trying to compete on a national level.

We were told this: "That assessment involved more than a year of extensive study and strategic analysis that considered many factors, including competitive success, high school and college sports participation rates, and resource requirements. It focused on the most effective means for fulfilling the University's athletic strategic plan, which includes a commitment to enable our student athletes to achieve ambitious academic, athletic, and personal aspirations, and to compete successfully for conference championships and national recognition." - Jim Miller(AD)

Here are some our teams stats:

Spring 2011- Highest Team GPA all DI Outdoor Track and Field Teams

10 consecutive years on USTFCCCA All Academic Team for Cross Country, Indoor Track and Outdoor Track

2010- Qualified for NCAA XC Championships

2010-Top 25 finish in the NCAA

2010- Atlantic10 Cross Country Champions

We have achieved all of these accomplishments despite the fact that we do not have a single athlete on athletic scholarship. There is no way to justify cutting a program which has been so successful in all aspects of being a STUDENT-Athlete. We are
told by the NCAA and our University about what it means to be a student-athlete and when we match this description perfectly, we are told that our program is being cut.

Cutting the Men's Track and Soccer programs clears a total of 64 roster spots– we were told that the lacrosse team would need 40 roster spots. So, these cuts are not not being made to Comply with title IX. All signs point to this decision being driven by money. It is believed that a board member offered a substantial donation in exchange for adding a lacrosse program, which was initially refused. The donation was then increased and an agreement was reached. There appears to be a conflict of interest as the current AD Jim Miller is in the process of transitioning to a position as assistant to the president for athletic development. This is a fundraising position for the university's athletic programs. There are a lot of questions that need to be answered. We are hoping that you will be able to first get the news out about our program being cut and also try help looking for answers. I am happy to speak with you about any other questions you may have about the situation, my email is paul.myer@richmond.edu and phone number is 540-533-1368.

what you can do:

1. Sign the online petition (http://signon.org/sign/save-richmond-track.fb23?source=s.icn.fb&r_by=5631723)

2. Share the petition and forward this message.

3. Write emails to:
The athletic director, Jim Miller( jmiller@richmond.edu ) (804) 289-8694
Secretary to the board of Trustees, Ann Lloyd Breeden (abreeden@richmond.edu)
Public Relations Director, Brian Eckert ( beckert@richmond.edu )
President, Ed Ayers, ( eayers@richmond.edu )
The office of the President ( ccaumont@richmond.edu )
The Dean of Richmond College ( jboehman@richmond.edu ).

4. Write and send letters to:
Office of the President
Maryland Hall, Suite 200
28 Westhampton Way
University of Richmond, Virginia 23173

Despite the events of the day we are still proud to be students at the University of Richmond. We are hurt by the actions of the board and are currently pursuing whatever actions we can take to rectify the situation. Through this process we ask for the support of the students, faculty, and staff of the University. Please spread the word and contact University President, Dr. Ayers, Jim Miller and the members of the Board expressing your support of our program.

Thank you. We will persevere.
Paul Myer