Behind The Numbers: More On Axed Collegiate Men's Programs

* Men's cross country was among one of the programs cut by Akron recently

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Over the last several months college programs from across the country have begun reviewing annual budgets and projected fiscal material ahead of a new calendar year. 

Athletic budgets have been tightly watched, and some universities have opted to eliminate programs all-together. Thus far, five men's programs in cross country and track and field have been cut by various universities. 

Below is information about those moves: 

University of Akron Men's Cross Country:

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Sport: Men's cross country. 

Reported Reason: The University of Akron was to begin trimming 23-percent of its athletic budget ($65-million), The Akron Beacon Journal reported. The cuts, which also include the elimination of men's golf and women's tennis, were reportedly going to save $4.4 million dollars. The cuts were the first move in what will also see a reduction in "scholarships, salaries, operational expenses and staffing." The move reportedly impacted 23 male and nine female athletes. 

Association: Mid-Atlantic Conference

Athlete Breakdown: 

  • Cross Country: 16

Coaches Breakdown: 3

  • Lee Labadie was the men's distance and cross country coach at Akron. He will be retained for track and field. Akron (the women's team is led by head coach Trey Brokaw) staffed two volunteer assistants. 

Central Michigan Indoor And Outdoor Track And Field: 

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Sport: Men's indoor and outdoor track and field.

Reported Reason: Indoor and Outdoot track had an annual budget of $629,798 a year. The immediate short-term savings will "be around $300,000 per year," The Detroit News reported.

"Right now, for our financial sustainability, this is the decision, the solution I came to." -- Athletic Director Michael Alford, to The Detroit News

Association: Mid-American Conference

Notes: Central Michigan was the first NCAA Division I school in Michigan to cut a program.

Athlete Breakdown: 36

  • Outdoor and Indoor Track and Field: Reportedly 36 athletes are affected -- though Central Michigan only lists 24 athletes on its 2019/2020 roster.

Coaches Breakdown: 

  • Six coaches were on staff as of the cuts. Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Jenny Swieton is expected to take over men's cross country. Jason Hartmann is currently the assistant coach of men's cross country.
  • Central Michgan employed three assistant track and field coaches.

Florida International Indoor Track and Field: 

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Sport: Men's indoor track and field.

Reported Reason: FIU is anticipating financial hardships due to the strain of the coronavirus and furloughed 22 athletic department employees in July, ESPN reported. Athletic Director Pete Garcia is going to defer one year of his salary, which ESPN revealed is $435,689. 

Notes: FIU budgets $28 million for athletics, which is 2-percent of the university's overall budget. In 2016, FIU hired football coach Butch Davis -- formerly with Miami and UNC -- and in 2019 the Orlando Sentinel reported he made $1.432 million in that role, with salary and bonuses. 

FIU will retain its men's cross country and outdoor track and field team; nearly all of its rostered athletes will compete in those seasons. FIU traveled just three times indoors before conference action -- to Alabama, Houston and Boston. The Conference USA Champinosnips were at the Crossplex in Alabama. 

Association: Conference USA

Photo Credit: App State Athletics 

Appalachian State Indoor Track And Field: 

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Sport: Men's indoor track and field. 

Reported Reason: Appalachian State was cutting 20-percent of its athletic budget ($5 million) for the 2021 fiscal year, the Winston-Salem Journal reported. Men's indoor track was cut, along with men's soccer and tennis, saving the university, in the short-term, a reported $1 million. Appalachian State now has 17 sports, which is one sport above the red line required to hold a FBS distinction. 

Appalachian State will retain men's track and field -- it does not roster men's cross country -- though the Winston-Salem Journal added that "App State has won 19 men's indoor championships and 192 individual men's indoor titles." 

Damion McLean, who took the program over in 2018, will remain the outdoor track and field coach. 

Association: Sun Belt Conference

Brown University Men's Indoor Track and Field And Cross Country: 

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Sport: Men's Cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field. 

Reported Reason: Brown,  which competes in the FCS for football, cut 11 varsity sports programs as part of a reported "Excellence in Brown Athletics Initiative," a panel which formed in January of 2020, the Providence Journal reported. Every single men's athletics program at the university -- men's cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field -- was not immune to that decision. That saw a reduction of nearly 30-percent of its varsity sports, down from 38 to 27. Brown began a review in 2018 of its athletic programs after the Bears won just 2.8-percent of available Ivy League titles the previous season. Approximately "150 student-athletes and seven coaches" are impacted by the move, the Journal found. Only $500,000 would be reallocated back to existing sports programs. 

Notes: Brown produced a 2012 Olympian in the javelin, Craig Kinsley. He was an assistant coach on staff. 

Association: Ivy

Athlete Breakdown:

  • Cross Country: 15

  • (Indoor And) Outdoor Track and Field: 44

Coaches Breakdown:

  • Head Coach: 1
  • Assistant Coaches: 5
  • Volunteer Assistants: 3

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