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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Less than a year after UNCW Chancellor Gary Miller announced the school would not cut any of its athletics programs, the university has announced it will cut one team for next year. But in the end, it looks as if not much is changing.

Miller today announced via an e-mail to students and staff UNCW will drop men’s indoor track & field at the start of the next school year this fall. Miller says the move has been made to help the school comply with Title IX, which governs gender equity in sports. The federal rule requires schools to have athletic opportunities for men and women that are proportionate to undergraduate enrollment. Miller says the school’s enrollment is 60 percent female and 40 percent male.

“It is always difficult to make these kinds of decisions, knowing of their potential impact on student-athletes and coaches,” Miller said in his e-mail. “Fortunately in this case, the student-athletes involved were recruited to participate in outdoor track & field and will continue to do so. There is no impact on student-athlete scholarships, and they will continue to enjoy the same access to academic support, sports medicine, strength and conditioning, and other available resources.”

But Head Coach Jim Sprecher tells WWAY very little is actually changing. Sprecher says the men’s track program will continue to compete in the same number of indoor competitions each year and maintain the same budget. He said the only thing changing is the loss of 12 winter practices for the team.

When asked about the specifics of the announced cut and any confusion, the university’s communications staff referred all inquiries to athletics department spokesman Joe Browning.

“As Chancellor Miller indicated, we are discontinuing men’s indoor track and field,” Browning said in an e-mail to WWAY. “Some of the outdoor (track & field) athletes may still attend a few meets next winter as individuals (they usually compete in 3-4 as a team). This adjustment in our portfolio will help us realign our number of male participants to the current and future enrollment ratio, per one of the prongs of Title IX, a federal law.”

UNCW director of athletics Jimmy Bass clarified the confusion with WWAY on Monday night. Bass said the UNCW athletes that compete in men’s indoor track starting next year will compete as individuals. He stressed they won’t be competing as a team for the university.

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4 Comments on "UNCW dropping men’s indoor track & field, but not really?"

Robert Green
2015 years 9 months ago

The Chancellor’s business plan of ” Hope ” never came to fruition as most things in business do not hinge on hope. Being a liberal university administrators , their business acumen is usually impaired due to a lifetime of working in the utopian world of academia. UNCW ‘s troubles are far from over as their premier revenue generator is failing miserably. The basketball program’ s underlying job is to subsidize the non-revenue sports , such as track and field. Buzz Ball has saddled their athletic department with cash flow issues. With a poor economy diminishing people’s disposable income and a losing product that does not have a broad enough appeal to the region spells doom for UNCW at the Division I level. You are running a race with a four cylinder car and against eight cylinders. Division II is your only option because you do not have what your other peers have that draw a regional appeal… Football. Your champagne taste on a beer budget has finally hit your empty wallet. Raising student fees to subsidize sports is not a long-term solution for athletic success.

Love the dub
2015 years 9 months ago

Drop basketball! Both programs they are a revenue black hole at this point!

Try to get a football program started so we can be relavant.
Till you do this our sports program is a waste of money.
I will say our baseball program is very immpressive and has been for years.

And baseball is winning with 1/10th the budget as basketball. That’s a shame

Trey Thompson
2015 years 9 months ago

With all the garbage being talked about buzz. I have heard while at Tennessee he was so slack as a coach they made him clock in and out with a time clock. If this is true why are we paying this guy 450k a year to lose.
I think it was cheaper losing with Moss wasn’t it?

Robert Green
2015 years 9 months ago

Bake sales and yard sales are not options with any longevity for financing D I sports programs.


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