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It's been an open secret around the University of Richmond campus that there is a push to put a student on the board of trustees.
In the wake of the sports cuts and Ring Dance change controversies these past two years, there seems no better time than now to push for greater student representation in the secretive machinations of university government.
The number of alumni donors has decreased since the University of Richmond eliminated the men's varsity soccer and track programs, said Tom Gutenberger, vice president for advancement.
About 914, or 10 percent of, donors who gave in 2011 did not donate in 2012, Gutenberger said.
"We knew we would have a hit from soccer and track," Gutenberger said.
Sixty-four roster spots opened after the dismissal of the men's soccer and indoor and outdoor track and field teams last fall.
Brandon Jordi is trading in a soccer ball for a football, as the longtime soccer player joins the Richmond Spiders football team as a kicker.
Since the university administrators announced their decision to cut the men's soccer program last semester, freshman soccer player Brandon Jordi has decided to stay and pursue other athletic opportunities.
The parents of a former Richmond soccer player gave DePauw University $5 million as their son prepared to transfer there after the Richmond soccer program was dropped.
Marshall Reavis gave the money to the soccer and lacrosse programs to fund a multipurpose stadium for the men's and women's soccer and lacrosse teams, their son Mitch, who left Richmond during winter break, said.
A rally for sports teams transitioned into a call for transparency and communication in the aftermath of a student-led protest outside the December Board of Trustees meeting.
Bobby Ukrop, one of Richmond's largest donors during the past several years, has resigned from the university's Board of Trustees, as first reported by Richmond BizSense.
Ukrop, who graduated from UR in 1969, had served on the board for 13 nonconsecutive years before stepping down at the board meeting on Dec.
To The Collegian and Members of the UR Community,
I am writing in regard to my comments toward Dr. Ayers in the article, "Students protest reconfiguration at Board of Trustees luncheon." My comments were taken out of context and were inappropriately personal.
I spent my time this weekend having e-versations with students, faculty and staff regarding the recent Collegian article. I am a firm believer that successful law enforcement is based on transparency, and I wanted to share with you my position.
A planned rally was to be held at the time of the trustees meeting, the rally was advertised through social media, local media and was an open invitation to attend.
The Board of Trustees met today at the University of Richmond for its regularly scheduled meeting.
The University of Richmond board members were greeted Thursday on the third floor of the Tyler Haynes Commons by wraps, pasta salad, chips, brownies and about 50 students holding signs in support of reinstating the men's track and field and soccer programs.
The Board of Trustees members, who made the decision in September to cut the two programs in favor of adding a men's lacrosse team, will meet again tomorrow, where board member Bobby Ukrop will present a case for the teams' reinstatement, said soccer alumnus Bret Myers.
Track members originally decided to stage Thursday's protest when a source, who does not want his or her name shared, told the runners where and when the luncheon was taking place, said Kyle Ragan, a senior on the track team.
Matthew Groff, a sophomore track member, thought the demonstration went better than expected, he said.
"We didn't know how many people were going to come out," he said.
The Richmond men's soccer program played its final game on Friday, as it was announced earlier this year that it would be cut, along with men's track and field, in favor of adding a men's lacrosse program.
It definitely isn't real yet, Zac Brown, a goalkeeper for the men's varsity soccer team said at the last soccer game for the university.
"Even though the university completely turned its back on us, I just can't imagine this having been the last game for Spider soccer," he said.
The bleachers were painted red and white by the scarves worn by many fans in the stands that were distributed by the alumni that are spearheading the ''Carry The Flag'' coalition.
The press conference hosted by University of Richmond soccer alumni on Friday presented a question of right and wrong, said men's soccer coach Leigh Cowlishaw.
Maybe the answer will not be reinstating soccer and track, but the decision certainly needs to be scrutinized with all the facts presented, he said.
Soccer alumnus Scott Byrnes, '91, led off his speech by acknowledging that people might have seen the amount of work that has gone into fighting the decision to cut the men's soccer and men's track and field teams as overkill.
Computer dying so I'll end this now. Thanks for joining me, I'll provide a quick recap soon with any new information that may come.
"You can put new people in their slots," Byrnes says in response to a comment about President Ayers and other board members.
Byrnes answers my question about the Washington Post article released yesterday, saying it didn't include all the information he had hoped it would.
"We're not gonna stop," Byrnes answers to a question from RTD.
Byrnes now taking questions with two other soccer alumni, one of which is Jim Brady, '85.
Byrnes finishes his speech, to a standing ovation, by pulling out a Richmond flag and saying, "Carry the Flag, boys."
"I ask you to withhold your donations to the University of Richmond until the Board of Trustees makes this right."
Byrnes now asking the board to reinstate the soccer and track programs as soon as possible.
"You had an organized group of soccer alumni banging on your door to help, and you ignored us," Byrnes says, in spirit to Ayers.
Byrnes says that if the soccer alumni had any idea the program was in jeopardy, they would've brought their arguments straight to the Board of Trustees before the decision was finalized, and the "lacrosse inner circle" couldn't afford that to happen.
Major Donor refused to engage with soccer alumni because "it would be inappropriate" because he is a member of the Board of Trustees, Byrnes said.
"Eliminating a men's sport will not be an option," Byrnes says, quoting an email about a conversation another soccer alumni had with VP of advancement Tom Gutenberger last summer.
Neither Ayers or Miller here right now I don't believe.
The alumni of the recently cut Richmond men's soccer and track and field teams have continued their strategic planning efforts, with large parts of those efforts culminating right before Homecoming Weekend.
On Tuesday, eight track alumni published and distributed a 28-page paper, titled "An Examination of the University of Richmond's 2012 Athletic Department Reconfiguration."
In the paper, the alumni highlight why outdoor track should be reinstated, citing sources for all research and claims, while indoor track and soccer should be given an opportunity to raise the funds needed to remain along with the addition of a women's sport.
"We're just trying to organize everything that we've heard from Dr. [Edward] Ayers and his chief of staff [Lori Schuyler] and [Athletic Director] Jim Miller," said Jon Molz, 2008 track alumnus and current assistant coach for the track and cross country teams.
On the morning of Saturday, Sept. 22, the Gottwald atrium was scattered with laptops and cell phones.
A lot of people have asked me during the past few weeks what I was thinking when Jim Miller told us soccer was no more.
Contact videographers Josh Grice at firstname.lastname@example.org and Marie Jayme at email@example.com
University of Richmond community members gathered in the Ukrop Auditorium Sunday afternoon to discuss the Board of Trustees' recent decision to cut the men's track and field and soccer teams in favor of adding a men's lacrosse team at a forum called UR SOS (Save Our Sports). President Edward Ayers spoke and answered questions about the decision and why it took place, while others spoke in opposition to the news.