CMU eliminates men's indoor and outdoor track and field programs

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MOUNT PLEASANT (WJRT) (5/19/2020) - Budget cuts at Central Michigan University led to an abrupt end of the men's indoor and outdoor track and field programs.

Central Michigan University eliminated its men's indoor and outdoor track and field programs on Tuesday.

Athletics Director Michael Alford announced the programs would end immediately on Tuesday, but the 36 student athletes who are affected will retain their scholarships.

Two full-time assistant coaching positions for the track and field teams also have been eliminated.

Alford said the cuts were necessary due to budget challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic. He alluded to looming universitywide budget cuts.

“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.”

Track and field athletes affected by the loss -- including freshmen athletes coming in the fall -- will retain their scholarships during their entire career at CMU.

“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.”

The women's track and field programs will continue.