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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — UNCW will not cut any sports teams, despite the recommendation of a committee report commissioned by Chancellor Gary Miller.

Miller announced at a news conference this morning that the university will continue all 19 of its sports programs. The announcement was met with a huge ovation from the audience at the Burney Center on campus, many of whom were members of the five teams on the chopping block.

“Eliminating any sports program is a last resort,” Miller said before announcing the retention of the programs.

Miller said he reached his decision after discussions with community leaders and people across the country.

“It’s clear to me from these discussions that there’s a great passion for Seahawks athletics,” Miller said.

Miller, though, said the 19-team athletic program cannot be maintained without a strong community support system, sponsorship and donations.

“The question is not whether we get rid of sports, but rather if we continue, is there enough passion in this community to sustain?” Miller said.

The Intercollegiate Athletics Review Committee had recommended cutting five programs from the university’s athletics department: men’s cross country, men’s indoor track, men’s and women’s swimming and softball.

Stay with WWAY NewsChannel 3 for much more on this developing story, including reaction from student-athletes and the community tonight on WWAY NewsChannel 3 at 5, 5:30 and 6.

Comment on this Story

  • Wilmington Observer

    “……. he made the decision based on the community support of these teams. He is depending on the community to continue with financial support to keep the teams running via donations and buying tickets”. Most of the community (myself included), was not even aware of some of these teams until it was recommended that they be eliminated. In a year (and another $800,000.00 later) they will, again, be forgotten. If the teams have not been, fiscally, viable in the past they will not be in the future. An institution’s leader is supposed to make the hard decissions which will, best, benefit that institution’s ability to meet its, intended purpose. Caving to the, fleeting, support of those who will, probably, not even put together a bake sale (to raise money for the teams) will only continue to cause educational funds to be diverted to, quickly forgotten, extracurricular activities.

    Wilmington Observer


    Will be soon forgotten? I highly doubt it considering the teams up for elimination were some of the most successful teams on the campus. Taking that away from INNOCENT people is not fair. What is fair is making the people RESPONSIBLE for these problems pay for their actions. Innocent sports teams need to be left alone to continue WINNING for the community. Maybe we shouldn’t be paying the basketball coach over 400,000 dollars a year to win what?….10 games in the past 2 seasons??? Let’s take a step back and look at what the REAL problems are. Some of THAT money could be used to help ALL Athletics or the entire University in general. Let’s get our facts straight before we start blaming sports teams who continue training, and winning even in light of a possible cut. Those are people we should want to have at our University.

  • Guest1971

    OK everyone who complained about the possibility of UNCW cutting sports programs it is time for you to step up to the plate and support these programs. This means not just running your mouth when they are in jeopardy but truly supporting these programs with your dollars, time, etc.

    Big mistake by Chancellor Miller – he had a chance to stand up and say academics are number 1 at UNCW but he chose to bow to the whiny contingent.

  • The Hawk

    The sad fact of the matter was that supporters have put their money where their mouth is, they have been all along. Its gaining public interest in the community and beyond that is important. That is the failure.

    If you want Education to be #1 at UNCW you have to make the sports strong and powerful, alumni and the local & national community would then give money beyond imagination.

    Cutting programs was not the answer and Miller stood up to the easy way out, a very temporary and disastrous solution.

  • IReckon

    Someone please just divide the $800,000 suggested savings by UNCW’s budget expense and see what the across the board reductions would have to be to save that amount. Bet it is minimal and certainly doable!

  • Vog46

    The question is will “passion” turn into dollars of support needed for athletics?
    After the initial fear wears off my guess is that passion will wane until such time as they actually run out of money, and sports get put back on the chopping block. The financial crisis has not been abated – all Miller has done is say we need more money.
    He’s delaying the inevitable – unless he gets the money needed.
    Thank goodness he’s not advocating for another fee redistribution or increase.
    I guess we wait and see…


  • Robert Green

    A predictable response from a liberal college administrator , who dismisses the economic reality of UNCW athletics. He let emotion overcome his senses. I am sure he heard some heart-felt pleas from passionate student-athletes, who perform at an exceptional level. At the end of the day these programs are a liability on the balance sheet, which were revealed to Miller by his self-appointed committee. They are a failure on the business side of the equation. Hoping that the Tooth Fairy or Santa Claus will come to the rescue is not a sound business plan. In the private sector , college administrators would be absolute failures due to their lack of business acumen.The sad reality is Wilmington is not a collegiate town that generates widespread community support that is found in other towns. We can not run from reality in our lives , only government funded entities can because they will throw their burdens upon the taxpayers. Parents of children at UNCW be prepared to dig at little deeper to supplement college athletics because alumnus are not inspired to write a check for a poor business plan. The overpayed , unsuccessful, nomadic basketball coach and his entourage are the big burden bearing down on UNCW athletics. They are supposedly the revenue generators who are expected to keep the athletic programs propped up. UNCW has been left in the dust in the world of college athletics and it would take years of positive cash flow to catch back up with everyone else.Time to consider dropping down a level in order to survive because the financial hole will only get deeper.

  • Dr. Walter Bishop, Fringe Division

    Frankly, college is about academics and not athletics. If UNCW can continue to fund these programs without ANY impact on academic programs then more power to them. The hard reality, however, is that times are tough and sometimes tough choices need to be made. If things benefiting the entire student population (such as improvements to campus housing, recreational facilities, academic programs, faculty) are adversely impacted by this choice then the wants of a small minority of students have wrongly taken precedence over the needs of the vast majority. Over 50% of UNCW students benefit from on-campus housing, close to 100% of students will utilize campus recreation facilities at least once in their college career; however less than 10% of students participate in athletics. It’s a sad day when the vocal minority are able to convince the chancellor to put their wants ahead of the needs of the entire university. Let me reiterate, athletics are all well and good as long as they can support themselves and do not divert funds from more worthy academic/student body causes. When times are tough and budgets are shrinking, sports programs should rightly be the first to go at an ACADEMIC institution. UNCW is a university, not an NCAA or Olympic training facility.

  • otis

    I can’t believe they backed out on their decision. It was the right move. I would rather stab myself in the eye with a pencil, than have to sit through a swim meet or a softball game. They do nothing for UNCW or the city. I am not the only one either. No fans come to those events. But hey, If the SeaDawgs can exist and make money without fans I guess they can too.

  • Jonathan

    Some writers form opinions without facts. FACT: The swim team was one of the few Revenue Generating sports, bringing over a Half Million Dollars per year to UNCW. FACT: The swim meets are sometimes so crowded there is standing room only at the back of the bleachers. FACT: The swimmers provide swim lessons, safety classes and lifeguard services in our community. FACT: The swim team has developed a money saving plan and has received commitments for donations already. FACT: Participation in athletics brings the GPA up (or, the students with good GPAs participate in athletics). One or the other, there is a correlation. FACT: You probably would stab yourself in the eye, but others do attend these “Non Revenue” sporting events. Apparently lots of people pay to watch race cars too. I’m glad we have Jack Sprat AND his wife.

  • ENL


    This gives a good break down of the athletic program. All teams are losing money.

  • Tracie C

    The only part of your reply I disagree with Johnathan is: “Some writers form opinions without facts”. I would state “most writers” but semantics don’t win swim meets now do they?
    Well done to those who fought so hard to save their sports programs!
    And job well done, Johnathan, for showing some real facts instead of opinions. Don’t expect any intelligent answers or debates though. They don’t know how in the face of facts.

  • Vog46

    According to a sports writer from another media outlet who attended the meetings the following chart says something different:


    Softball……$14,153 ……..$345,119

    *Track/CC……$14,700 ……..$246,898

    Men’s Swimming/Diving….$9,750……….$214,624

    Women’s Swim/Diving………..$6,250………..$245,777

    Also, be advised that during the season I followed most sports at UNCW online and viewed the attendance records for each and on many occasions Swim/dive meets had less than 100 attendees. Attendance average were around 100 to 105. This would co-incide with the above information regarding the paltry revenue numbers.
    Facts Jonathan?

    Please explain Jonathan.


  • ENL

    Let’s see a link to the actual figures.

  • NO Liberals

    Straight forward post. FACTS not pipe dreams. Numbers do not lie.

  • Guest1234543

    I would state “most writers” but semantics don’t win swim meets now do they?

    This is a part I am having trouble with, granted all UNCW athlete’s are great people, but what does that have to do with the cost of the program, if these programs are not paying their way then somewhere down the line someone has to make up the difference, and for way to many years it has been all the young students after an education, at the expense of rising tuition every semester, somewhere there has to be a stopping point.

  • Dr. Walter Bishop, Fringe Division

    The Mens Swimming and Diving Team generated $9750 in revenue with program related costs (expenditures) totaling $214624, so this program created a net loss of $204874. Combined with the Womens Swimming and Diving Teams net loss of $239527, the UNCW Athletic Department lost $444401 on the entire Swimming and Diving Program in one year. Doesn’t sound like a very profitable program to me.

  • Robert Green

    The reason the swimming and diving program was even in the conversation was due to the fact they were not able to generate a positive cash flow. Either I have reading comprehension problem or you have facts you need to share with your weak kneed leader , Miller. The problem has not been solved. The fact is NASCAR and other professional racing circuits have multi- million dollars investments . You don’t. You have a program run on a beer budget with champagne taste. A thousand dollar donation , swim lessons and bake sales are not a solid business plan for your sustainability. Back up the half million dollar figure with a reliable source otherwise your credibility is on par with everyone else.Regardless of how how many championships you win in swimming and diving , they do not fill the school’s coffers. FACT ! You must not be a business major and but another indoctrinated liberal zombie. As far as community and alumni support , people’s mentality towards their finances has changed dramatically since the socialist took control of the federal government . They are looking at shrinking disposable income ,high energy costs
    increased tax burdens and government mandates ( Obamacare ) therefore UNCW falls low on the totem pole of financial priorities when the primary objective of business and individuals is self preservation. There are fewer dollars for people to pony up and a lack of enthusiasm for a mediocre sports entity. Your chancellor has kicked the can down the road for another day but the FACTS remain the same. You are a liability on the balance sheet from a business perspective. FACT , your chancellor was trying to win the popularity contest not being a sound leader.

  • Vog46

    “And job well done, Johnathan, for showing some real facts instead of opinions. Don’t expect any intelligent answers or debates though. They don’t know how in the face of facts.”

    I don’t believe Jonathan can dispute the facts I posted from the link above.
    I’m all for debate of FACTS Tracie and I will admit when I’m wrong.
    So Tracie? Jonathan?
    Dispute the facts I posted.
    Lets have a civil discussion.
    I believe that the PROBLEM with UNCW sports boils down to people like Jonathan that refuse or cannot see the financial “Hurt” sports will give to UNCW – if the donation do not pick up.
    It’s OK to like a sport or a team – I’m all for that.
    But keep in mind that sports are a drain on most campuses. Very few entities have those “glorified TV Contracts” or Radio contracts that pay millions to the university.
    I don’t mind having student fees pay for some sports. I dislike the concept mind you but I’m cognizant of the fact that in UNCW’s case alumni and boosters don’t give enough so they have to fund them somehow, to please the sports lovers at UNCW like Jonathan.
    The problem is that no one wants to step up to the plate.
    Peterson won’t take a pay cut.
    Nor will his assistants.
    No one on track and field will say “Our sport is watched by virtually no one so I can see cutting track and field”.
    In other words – no one, repeat NO ONE will make the sacrifice.
    And Chancellor Miller wimped out of making the hard decision by saying the community, the businesses, the boosters and alumni have to “give” more money.
    Yet no one team or individual at the university “gave” at all. They tacitly said “No, YOU give Mr booster – YOU give Mr business man, YOU give local community – we will NOT give, we will NOT sacrifice.”

    So Tracie – dispute the numbers.

  • Dr. Walter Bishop, Fringe Division

    Robert, I think Jonathan was confused with revenue and expenditures. He stated the program brought in nearly half a million dollars for the university. He was either confused as to the meaning of expenditures and added those values together assuming it represented profit (yielding a value close to half a million dollars) or he subtracted the revenue from the expenditures and assumed this was profit. In reality, the expenditures should have been subtracted from the revenue reflecting a negative cash flow.

  • otis

    Ohhh jonathan…we are waiting …now thats a fact

  • Angewidert

    Confused: Politically correct college-speak for “flat-out wrong”

    Example: The architect didn’t make a math error that caused the building to collapse; he was simply confused.

  • Vog46

    “They don’t know how in the face of facts.”

    Yeah – right.
    Care to comment on the facts presented?


  • truthseeker

    I support athletics under one and main premise. That it does not raise tuition to support their programs. College is for a higher education and preparation for a career in the work force. If tuition is raised for anything other than academics than it is completely biased toward the athlete who are the minority. If UNC-W cannot find the support for athletics than they have to go. No way should students have to fund anything but their education, housing and food. Anything else should be funded by the group who wants it including the social and ethnic clubs on campus.

  • larnell

    Tebow “I am a Christian” Media “Keep it to yourself” Jason Collins “I am gay” Media “You’re an inspirtation”

  • activist

    Well done Dr. Miller. You have my support. And i did donate–monthly for five years.


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