UConn To Cut Men's Cross Country

By Kevin Sully - FloTrack 

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The University of Connecticut announced on Wednesday that it is dropping its men's cross country program at the end of the 2020-2021 school year. The school also announced that it was cutting women's rowing, men's swimming and diving and men's tennis.

"This action was taken as part of the university's overall budget reduction effort and allows athletics to meet a university directive calling for a 25 percent reduction (approximately $10 million) in institutional support by 2023," the school said.

This move may have impacted at least one incoming recruit from the Class of 2020, Westbrook (MA) graduate Mahamed Sharif, who is a talented 800m runner who's run a personal best of 1:52.88. Historically, cross country has often helped develop mid-distance runners by building a stronger foundation for the indoor and outdoor season. 

When the school announced that cuts were imminent last months, alumni and supporters of the program feared that the school's track and field programs were also vulnerable. An alumni group raised $1.6 million in 10 days in order to keep all six programs (men's and women's indoor and outdoor track and field and men's and women's cross country).

The university said they will honor scholarships for all impacted athletes.

Last year, the men's cross country team finished third at the American Athletic Conference Cross Country Championships and placed eighth at the Northeast Regional meet.

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University of Connecticut's 2020 Signing Class