WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- A committee commissioned by UNCW's chancellor to study the sustainability and vitality of the school's 19 sports programs has recommend the university cut five of the teams.
The committee's report released today recommends the elimination of men's and women's swimming & diving, men's cross country, men's indoor track and softball. The recommended reductions would cut 117 student athletes.
The committee recommends honoring honor all scholarship commitments to current student athletes through graduation, as long as they remain in good standing and make satisfactory progress toward a degree per NCAA eligibility regulations.
If the sports teams are cut, newly recruited players for those teams should be notified immediately, the report recommends, and provide those athletes a release from their National Letter of Intent.
The report says the UNCW Athletics Department is facing a "fiscal crisis." The report notes that the department's reserve fund has experienced an 82-percent decrease since 2009. In the current fiscal year, the report says, the university will likely need to cover a projected $600,000 shortfall. Also, it says the Seahawk Club has raised just $460,000 as of May 1. That's just 44 percent of the budgeted target of $1.047 million for the booster club.
WWAY Sports Director John Rendleman will have more on the report's recommendations coming up on WWAY NewsChannel 3 starting at 5 p.m.