CCU to discontinue Men's Track & Field/Cross Country

CCU discusses decision to cut programs
Published: May. 2, 2013 at 11:41 PM EDT|Updated: May. 3, 2013 at 12:43 PM EDT
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Courtesy: CCU Media Relations

CONWAY – Coastal Carolina University announced today the discontinuation of the men's cross country/outdoor track and field programs, effective at the conclusion of the 2013-14 season.

Coastal Carolina University will compete in a full schedule of events in both men's cross country and outdoor track and field during the 2013-14 season, including the Big South Championships and any NCAA postseason opportunities. Coastal will additionally honor the scholarships of those student-athletes who wish to continue their education at CCU beyond the 2013-14 season.

The Coastal Carolina Administration and the Board of Trustees authorized this step in order to reach the optimal combination of sport offerings that would provide quality opportunities to CCU student-athletes while remaining in compliance with Title IX and exercising fiscal responsibility.

Coastal Carolina has a legal obligation to comply with the federal Title IX law in relation to gender equity.  Also, in response to these challenging financial times, the University Board of Trustees made a commitment to reduce its operating budget by $1 million for the 2013-14 academic year rather than raise in-state tuition. As part of the budget reduction, the Department of Athletics was directed to cut $250,000 from its operating budget. Meeting these new budgetary guidelines would not be possible without a significant change. The elimination of men's cross country/track and field programs best addresses both of these issues.

Title IX requires that the gender ratio of an institution's athletic programs reflect that of its student body. The total female/male student population at CCU is 54 percent female to 46 percent male. CCU introduced Women's Lacrosse as an NCAA sport in 2013, which added 25 female student-athletes and demonstrated a continual expansion of athletic opportunity for the underrepresented sex.

For total Title IX compliance, further steps were necessary. Approximately 50 student-athletes participate in the men's cross country/track and field programs annually. Discontinuation of the program will ultimately help Coastal reach full Title IX compliance.

"This decision is a very painful one for me, as a former student-athlete, and for the whole Coastal Carolina community," said CCU Director of Athletics Hunter Yurachek. "We understand the impact it will have on the student-athletes and their families, which is why we will continue to honor their scholarships.

"I am extremely proud of the way our current and past men's cross country/track and field student-athletes have represented Coastal Carolina University. I am also grateful for the numerous contributions and accomplishments of our men's cross country/track and field athletes both on and off the competition field. This decision is in no way meant to diminish the legacy of our men's cross country/track and field student-athletes, and we will forever consider you Chanticleers."

The discontinuation of men's cross country/outdoor track and field programs will leave CCU with the NCAA Division I minimum of 16 intercollegiate sports programs.