MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – Central Michigan University has eliminated its men’s track program as part of budget cuts triggered by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Athletic Director Michael Alford said the indoor and outdoor men’s track teams are affected.
“We did not make this decision lightly, but we are facing a new financial reality due to enrollment challenges and now COVID-19,” Alford said. “Hundreds of students have participated in this longstanding, successful program at Central Michigan, and we know this will impact them, and supporters of this program, greatly.”
The decision was made as part of budget planning around the pandemic, Alford said. University-wide budget cuts are looming due to the coronavirus.
School officials said 36 student-athletes will be affected, including some who also run cross country at the university.
Two full-time assistant positions have also been eliminated, the school announced.
Scholarships for current men’s track and field students, including those awarded to new students starting in the fall, will be honored for the rest of their CMU careers, university officials said.
If any of the student-athletes want to join another school’s roster, they’ll be released without penalty and allowed to transfer immediately, CMU announced.
“My heart goes out to these student-athletes," Alford said. "I know this is incredibly difficult for them. We hope they continue their academic journeys at Central Michigan, but also wish them the best if they’re able to continue athletic pursuits elsewhere.”
Central Michigan still has 16 athletic teams: Men’s and women’s basketball, football, women’s soccer, women’s golf, baseball, softball, men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, women’s track and field, gymnastics, women’s lacrosse, softball, wrestling and volleyball.