(WXYZ) — Central Michigan University announced Tuesday it will end the men's track and field program, effective immediately, as part of budget planning amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
CMU Athletics Director Michael Alford said the decision was made as the university plans budget cuts across the board.
“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 in a release. “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 will impact 36 student-athletes – including some who compete in cross country. There are also two full-time assistant positions being eliminated.
Scholarships for track and field student-athletes – including those for new students – will be honored for their entire academic careers.
“My heart goes out to these student-athletes; I know this is incredibly difficult for them,” Alford said. “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.”
There are now 16 athletic teams at the university: 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 and volleyball.
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