Free Press Staff Reports
The University of Vermont's announcement to eliminate five sports from its athletic department came as the rest of the world digested the effects of terrorist attacks on the United States.
Coaches and athletes were not pleased with the school's timing.
"I'd say this was a very inopportune time to make this release," track coach Ed Kusiak said. "The timing of UVM is really suspect."
Gymnastics captain Allyson Schneider has an older brother who suffered minor injuries in Tuesday's attacks on New York. She was critical of being told her sport was being axed at a time better suited for grieving.
"I think it shows an unbelievable lack of courage on their part to make the announcement today," Schneider said. "It's clearly to take the heat off them, the pressure off them, knowing nobody's going to care about these five lowly teams with a national crisis going on. As somebody who's directly involved, I'm personally offended by it. I think it's cowardly."
Athletic director Rick Farnham said no time was good to make the announcement.
"We're going to get criticized with the fact there's a world tragedy going on and we just added to it. Nothing could be further from the truth," Farnham said. "The timing is unfortunate, but tell me a good time when you could have done this. Tell me a good time."