The Collegian
Tuesday, May 24, 2022

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Track Member: Students Don't Support Cut

[The following letter was written in response to an email from Jim Miller, the director of athletics, announcing that track and field would be officially cut from Richmond's sports roster.

Right now it is 8:56 on a Saturday night. You know what that means, right? Most people are out and about, and few are on their computers.

I'm telling you this because at 8:56 on this Saturday night, as I begin this email, the online petition we threw up at 11:00 p.m. last night has 3,099 signatures. Keep that number in mind.

The decision made by the university not only reflects its poor agenda, but a general lack of understanding of fact.

You mentioned when you spoke to us that you chose lacrosse because it had one of the fastest growth rates, and you saw it as a "good fit" for the university. You're right.

From 2001-2011 it had a 128 percent growth rate. That is quite impressive. Almost as impressive as bowling's 179 percent increase. As you can see, these statistics are a little misleading.

Lacrosse grew -- in numbers -- in the last five years by 35,700 athletes. Bowling grew by 8,300 athletes. Track and field? With its measly 17 percent growth? A total of 63,000 athletes.

As far as academics go, I suggest you seriously reconsider the repercussions to the athletic department's overall GPA when a ~3.5 GPA is substituted by lacrosse's grade point. You have access to these records, so I suggest you seriously go out and find them.

I'm about halfway done, and it is 9:03 on a Saturday night. We're at 3,181 now.

See, Mr. Miller, you relayed the message that this would be the path of least resistance -- the "least disruptive course of action." I seriously advise you to keep that in mind as thousands upon thousands argue this ruling.

See, unlike other sports, we do not have time-outs, breaks, rest, or coaches helping us as we go along. We're on our own, and we do our jobs.

We do it on the field, track, classroom, and, as you are experiencing firsthand, in real life.

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We're smart; we're clever; we're stoic; we're not backing down; we're not giving up; we're not forgetting; and you better believe we'll be disruptive. Very disruptive.

There are a lot of things I have been called, but weak is not one of them; nor the men I stand steadfast with. This will be the most disruptive course of action. Expect a lot more than a few local papers.

It's now 9:07 on a Saturday night. 3,217.

I'll proofread the message now. Finished! But I got a call from the director of USA track and field of Long Island, who also happens to be a major contributor to the junior Olympics, so it's a little later than you might expect.

It is 9:15 on a Saturday night. 3,286.

From 8:56 to 9:15 p.m., a measly 19 minutes passed, and 187 people got behind us.

Hah, the least disruptive.

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