Track team: “chance of the team coming back”

Casey McAnarney & Joe Lowe | Contributing Writer, News Editor

Reports of the University of North Carolina Wilmington track and field teams returning to campus have circulated recently. 

“All we have been told as of now is that there will be a chance of the team coming back,” Cam Walton, UNCW jumper said. 

Jamar Collins, a UNCW sprinter, said coaches notified the team after Monday’s practice.

 “I was shocked after everything that happened,” Collins said. 

According to the Office of University Relations, conversations about the track and filed teams have always been ongoing but there has been no reversal of the decision.

This news comes in light of diversity issues in the athletics program and the university’s official announcement of the end of its track and field and men’s cross-country programs on Jan. 23.  Men and women’s track and field, the most diverse UNCW sports programs, make up over 50 percent of the athletic department’s African-American student athletes.

To avoid stretching a thin budget and stay in accordance with Title IX requirements, the university cut all four running programs within the past year, creating mixed emotions among student-athletes and community members.  

Regarding the issue of diversity within the athletic department, UNCW sprinter Brandon McLean said, “All I’ve ever heard about was Title IX and that’s what I took it as.”

“The school was having problems with diversity here,” said Walton.

However, Wilmington minority community members, UNCW track and cross-country team members and their families have raised over $140,000 to try and save the team.