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Letters sent to the administration since September 13th, 2001.




2/04/02
John Foster

I would like to offer my support for the reinstatement of Men's Track & Field. As a former member of the track and cross country teams during all four years of college, I found both programs to be rewarding. Eliminating track would severely impact the success of the cross country program.

I strongly encourage the UVM administration to actively seek funds to help offset the costs of the program. I would gladly contribute to keeping the track program.

 


Regards,

John Foster
Class of 1979
Fidelity Investments
w 617-563-4631




1/30/02
Casey Grant

Gentlemen,

The news of the decision to eliminate Men's Track and Field was very upsetting to me. As a former student athlete of UVM, I have watched and waited for the University to deliver their side of the story. The real story. What did this decision really boil down to? Are the facts assembled by Vermont track and field supporters, the same facts utilized in the athletic departments "Framework for Change"?

  1. Impact on Enrollment: Not only will instate track athletes look elsewhere, but consider the domino effect of women track and field athletes and cross country athletes who will likely consider alternatives given the current circumstances.

  2. Competitive Success: Check out the America East, NAC, and New England results archives. Clearly the UVM Men have delivered several outstanding performances over the years.

  3. Level of Interest: Every high school in this state participates in Track and Field. It is unfortunate that the University has never hosted many track and field events, as the community and fan interest is clearly shown by the state's participation level in this sport.

  4. Potential for future growth: The new indoor facility was a step in the right direction. Talk of revamping the outdoor facility continues this momentum, making UVM a more attractive option.

  5. Level of financial resources: This program is the most cost effective sport at UVM. Period. The coach is responsible for multiple teams, the facilities are shared, and the equipment and uniform costs are minimal.

  6. Programs Contribution to Academics: Let the record speak for itself. Some of UVMs finest students have been/ or are currently participating in track and field.

Things just don't add up here folks.

The UVM track and field program has a very special place in my heart, for many reasons. I have fond memories of strong comradery, excellent competition, and a coach who gave his all to his team and this University. Track and Field lifted me to new heights. The program gave me confidence I was lacking, helped me to overcome personal obstacles, and kept me focused on my academics. The friendships I developed, and the experience I gained will last a lifetime.

It has been almost 8 years since I threw the javelin for the last time wearing the green and gold. I will never forget the feelings and sheer emotion that I felt at the end of my final track meet. It was tough to let go of something so good. Those same feelings were rekindled in late September of last year, as I watched the University deliver its decision to discontinue the program. 100 years of changing young athletes lives, soon to be terminated.

Please weigh the facts, listen to the voices of your alumni and the State of Vermont, and reconsider this decision. Men's Track and Field must be reinstated.

 


Sincerely,
Casey Grant
Co-Captain: '93, '94
Record Holder




1/27/02
Patricia and Daniel Mielcarek

To The UVM Administration:

We are writing to you to express our interest and support of the reinstatement of Men's Track & Field at UVM. Please allow the team an opportunity to actively seek funds to help offset the current and future costs of this program. We believe the team should at least be allowed to support itself before the decision to cut the program is made. We are deeply disappointed that our son will not be able to continue the running progress that he has worked so hard to achieve throughout his high school years now that he is at UVM. Running is one sport that students can continue well beyond their college years and to discourage students from participating in this exercise will be detrimental to their long term well-being. We would certainly help in whatever way we can to keep this program active at UVM.

 


Sincerely,
Patricia and Daniel Mielcarek




1/25/02
Dan Krawiec

Reinstate mens track and field. Any self respecting school needs these programs. If these programs are eliminated you will lose much respect by potential applicants everywhere.




1/24/02
Alex Moore

Howdy,

Track and field is one of the sports best at developing fine student athletes - track and field athletes (and cross country runners as well) constantly perform better in the class room than non-runners, and they are an essential element to any university - track athletes are a different breed, and a university without them is lacking something that can't be imitated. Please re-instate your track program, for the good of the university.

 


Thanks,
Alex Moore




1/23/02
Eric Gans

I support the reinstatement of UVM Men's Track and Field.

Thank you for your attention.

 


Eric Gans
eric@ucsbtrack.com




1/23/02
Jeremy A. Bloom

Hello, my name is Jeremy Bloom and I am the Boys Head Cross-Country coach for South Burlington High School. I am aware of the University of Vermont's decision to cut mens track and field from the athletic program. I understand that there must be reasons behind the decision, as that is always the case. I would like to put my two cents in though, just in case I might make a small difference. If the goal in cutting sports is to save money, which I assume is the reason(and a good reason), than cutting a sport with no athletic scholorships, uses many of the same coaches as the womens team(which will remain), and travels with the womens team, than it appears that the University of Vermont is not saving very much money at all. The cost of opperating the UVM mens track team seems reletivly small in comparing it to the opportunities it provides to the residents of Vermont. It is the "only" division 1(or division two program I believe, as St. Mike's only offers xc) program in the state of Vermont. Were are these kids going to compete? Yes, academics should come first, but athletics is a large part of many of these kids lives. >From a local coach, I urge the University of Vermont to re-instate the Mens track and field program because the benefits of keeping the program far outway the negatives. Thank you very much for your time.

 


Sincerely,

Jeremy A. Bloom
Head Coach, South Burlington High School




1/23/02
Tom Harrington

I am writing another letter to endorse the track program at UVM. I was excited at the news that this decision to eliminate the track program was being looked at again. I do feel with more time if needed money could be raised specifically to support this team. I know I would sign up. I too feel it is probably pointless to support a cross country team in the absence of a track team as the eventual quality athelete will go elsewhere to run. I also feel the university will suffer in the long run and lose some good quality students. I do know that my years with the team brought out many quality people who were good students as well as athletes. I hope on further analysis the administration can understand the finer points on the need to support this endeavour.

Thank you for taking time to read this and I hope sincerely that this decision can be changed.

 


Tom Harrington
BA 1975
MD 1979




1/23/02
William Rittase

A grad student, and fellow UNC club track member Thomas Johnson recently informed us that his alma mater (UVM) cut their men's track team. As and avid track and cross country runner, I just wanted to let you guys know that ... "I support the reinstatement of UVM Men's Track and Field".

 


- William Rittase
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill




1/22/02
Steve Eustis

Please bring back track and field to UVM!! I am a local resident who feels track and field is very important to UVM as well as the entire state of Vermont.

 


--Steve Eustis
Essex Junction




1/20/02
Tom Beatini

Dear Sir/Madam,

I was recently informed of the findings of members of the UVM community regarding the Menís Track and Field team, in light of the decision by the Administration to cut the sport following the 2002 season. More specifically:

  • UVM's Men's Track & Field team has one of the highest cumulative GPAís on campus and many excellent and dedicated participants.
  • UVM Track & Field and Cross Country have the highest percentage of participation of Vermont residents of any UVM Varsity sports.
  • UVM represents the only in state Division 1 alternative for Vermont High School Track athletes. Track is one of the most participated in Vermont High School sports.
  • UVM Track & Field has a significantly lower cost per participant than other Varsity sport at UVM.
  • UVM will be the only school in the America East Conference without a Men's Track & Field team.
  • According to NCAA statistics, Track & Field offers UVM the greatest opportunity within athletics, to meet its stated strategic goal of increasing the number of minority students.
  • 85% of all Division 1 schools offer Men's Track & Field.
  • The elimination of Men's Track & Field will ultimately limit the success of Men's Cross Country and is already having a negative impact the Women's program. Imagine the challenge of recruiting Women athletes when it is already apparent that the school has cancelled the Men's team.
  • Last year the University of New Hampshire, a school very similar to UVM in many respects, raised over $500,000 in support of their new track.
  • UVM Athletic Department failed to actively seek philanthropic and alumni support before terminating the program.

I contacted you in the beginning of October. In my E-mail to you, I stated:

"The Mission Statement refers top community enrichment. There are many former members of the Menís Track Team who have enriched their communities, not just in Vermont, by staying involved with the sport and by drawing on their experience to help others. . . By eliminating the Menís Track team, you will be cutting off an important resource that benefits the people of the state of Vermont and the community of individuals that is UVM."

(If you deleted my E-mail, you can see it at the uvmtrack.com web site.)

If one of the goals of the University is to meet the needs of Vermonters, then cutting the Menís Track Team is not in line with those goals.

I know that UVM actively solicits their alumni and others for philanthropic support. Yes, I did receive the newsletter that listed major financial contributions. Would it be possible to seek some kind of financial support for the Menís Track Team? If the University can embark on a fund-raising drive for a new building, then it can do likewise to save a program that will continue to benefit the greater community.

I strongly urge you to do some soul searching and see what you can do for the Menís Track Team, in keeping with your Mission Statement for Intercollegiate Athletics. I am sure that with a touch of creativity you can come up with a plan that would insure itís existence for the future.

 


Sincerely,
Tom Beatini, Class of 1980
22 Wierimus Road
Hillsdale, NJ 07642




1/20/02
Joseph Parent

Gentlemen, as a long time supporter of UVM atheletics I feel the university must find a way to support and maintain the men's track program. There is no more basic sport than track which has been practiced for centuries, Olympics. There have been so many talented and hardworking student atheletes from the state who have made significant contributions to the university. We need to have this option available to future high school students from around the state. Please give this much further considerations.

 


Thank You.
Joseph Parent




1/16/02
Ken Van Cott
Christy Johnson

To Whom It May Concern,

We would like to express our dismay at the cancellation of the Men's Track and Field Program at UVM. Our son, Christopher Van Cott, has been a member of the track team, as well as the cross country team, for the past two and a half years. Like many of his teammates, he ran in high school in Vermont, and chose UVM because he wanted to continue running at a division I college in his home state. The cancellation of Men's Track prevents our son (and many of his teammates) from meeting this goal and effectively breaks an implied "contract" between the student track and field athlete and UVM. Cutting track, mid stream, during a student's four years of school denys them what the university offered when the student's decision was made to make UVM the college of their choice.

The cost of men's track at the university, in conjuction with the women's program is very low in comparison with many other sports. A modest fund raising program could help pay for this sport. We support such an effort and request that you reconsider your decision and re-instate men's track and field at the University.

 


Sincerely,
Ken Van Cott
Christy Johnson




1/17/02
Tom Harrington

I am very pleased to know than the university is looking more closely at the issue of keeping the track program. I do hope that clear minds will prevail. Yes the track and field program did mean alot to me during my four years at UVM. Our team also represented I believe a very high academic standard as well. I believe the track program can be sustained at this school. There is certainly no reason to sustain a cross country program because the top caliber runners will not matriculate without an accompanying track program. With some time and planning I believe money could be raised to support this program. I certainly would be a contributor. If the school continues to chop away programs like this, especially perhaps without proper insight, I believe the university will suffer in the long run. It is heartwarming for me to see the response against this proposal.

I remain anxious to see if we can possibly change this proposal to cancel the track (and soon I am sure cross country program) at UVM.

 


Tom Harrington
BA 1975     MD 1979
Tharring23@aol.com




1/17/02
Megan Galbreath

Please bring back Men's track and field!!




1/16/02
Bob Stoehr

Though it has taken news a while to travel to Washington State, I have heard about a decision to cut Men's Track and Field. I think it will be difficult to maintain the Cross Country program, without a track program to provide year-round training opportunities. It seems like so much of the cost of maintaining a track program, the facilities, will still be incurred as the women's program is being maintained. It also seems that scholastic Track and Field in the entire State, will be dealt a blow without a collegiate program to aspire to. I am a living example of a UVM Track and Field Athlete who is still running, my sport has become a lifelong pursuit for me. Team sports participants drop their sport soon after matriculation because they need a team. Coach Kusiak has spent a career building the UVM Track and Field program, please re-consider cutting this vital sport......Bob Stoehr '76




1/16/02
Elizabeth A. Young Please do not take away the mens track team!!!




1/15/02
Hank Galbreath

Dear Gentlemen:

Please reverse the decision to terminate the UVM Men's varsity track team. For the past seven years, I have been involved with The University of Vermont as a parent (two varsity athletes), faculty, staff, graduate and now as a spouse. From my perspective, the UVM Men's track team has been and still is one of the most economical, efficient and productive University organizations on campus. The alumni and friends of UVM Men's track deserve a chance to defend and support this outstanding program.

I strongly believe the program can generate substantial revenue if provided reasonable opportunity. I am willing to commit immediately financial resources of at least $1000. I am sure there are other individuals willing to help UVM Men's track through substantial donations and personal involvement in a cogent development/business plan. I am more than willing to discuss this matter in person at your convenience. Your assistance and thoughtful consideration is deeply appreciated.

 


Sincerely,

Hank Galbreath
Project Manager, Distance Learning
Norwich University




1/15/02
Donna Smyers, P.T.

I would like to add my support to keeping UVM Track and Field. I am a health care professional who knows the value of life long sports. Running is one of the few sports that many collegiate athletes can pursue after graduation. For the health of the people in the state of Vermont, I ask you to maintain the UVM Track and Field and Cross Country teams. We cannot afford to discourage athletic participation in our sedentary, obese society with rising costs of medical care for chronic diseases.

 


Donna Smyers, P.T.
Montpelier, VT




1/15/02
John Scheer

Dear Edwin,

I am appauled at the idea that UVM is eliminating the Men's Track and Field program. At first I thought this was another case of the Univerisity has got to do what it has to do and can't please everyone. But as I read the statistics that the alumni have come up with that support UVM and why they should reinstate the program, I believe that the elimination of Men's Track and Field will only go further to ruin the reputation of the University and not save any real money. It may actually cause the University to lose out on alumni donations and tuition that far exceed any sports budget. Please reconsider.

 


Sincerely,

John Scheer
CPA and former T & F athlete at UMASS 1977
Former Vermont High School Athlete
Local citizen and fan of Vermont T & F.




1/15/02
Trond Nystad

Dear recipients,

My name is Trond Nystad. I was a student athlete participating in skiing, track and cross country running during my tenure at UVM (1990-1994). I was fortunate to enjoy success at UVM both off and on the court. I was probably more succesfull in skiing, but running was one of the cornerstones of my experience at UVM. I am very concerend that the Men's track program is beeing eliminated. Running track and cross country was an important reason why the UVM expereince was the best four years of my life. I hope that you will reconsider the decission, and if you do please let me knoe how I can be of assistance.

I am currently a coach for skiing and running at the University of Denver. The University of Denver had a track program which they cut a while ago. We have now brought back cross country and hope to bring back track. The administration here learned that cutting running had several negative impacts. Important points to consider are as follows.

  1. Running is a very inexpensive sport.
  2. How many opportunities are there for in-state runners at the div. 1 level.
  3. Runners generally have high high school gpa and test scores, which looks good for the admission statistics.
  4. Runners have high GPA's in college, which makes the athletic dept. look good.
  5. Runners are driven to graduate which influences your graduation rate.
  6. Runners represent a diverse population which helps your minority rates.
  7. Runners are good alumni.

Please call me at 303 570 9235 if you need more information.

 


Sincerely,
Trond Nystad




1/15/02
Sue Williams

Please add my vote to the list of folks who would like to see this athletic program reinstated. I support this program and would not like to see it cut.

 


Thank you for your consideration.

Sue Williams
Dean's Office, College of Medicine
University of Vermont
Given D104
656-9459
656-4618 (Fax)
Susan.L.Williams@uvm.edu




1/15/02
Sarah Osgood

I am writing in support of UVM Men's Track & Field. I was shocked to read about the upcoming termination of Men's Track & Field this past fall. I understand and support the value of running. So, please bring back Men's Track & Field!!




1/14/02
Robert Moeller

Dear UVM Track,

I agree with all of your reasons to continue track at UVM. I especially agree with providing Vermonters with this sport since so many Vermonters make up the team. After all UVM is still the University OF Vermont not a university for everyone else and then maybe a few Vermonters.

 


Robert Moeller
Class of 69




1/14/02
Matthew A. Curtis

As a graduate of UVM, and an alum of the UVM Track and Field program, I wanted to convey my disappointment in your recent decision to terminate the Men's Track and Field program. I ask you to reconsider this decision. The bonds I formed in my time with the UVM program have lasted longer than any others. Though my time with the UVM team was short, due to a number of injuries, the friendships, and relationships will last a lifetime. My dedication to the university will continue, by as Track and Field was an integral part of my time at UVM, I feel as the university is eliminating an important piece of my time at the school. Again, I ask you to please reconsider the termination of the program.

 


Thank you.
Matt Curtis

Matthew A. Curtis
Echostar Communications Corp.
Inside Sales Manager
7045 Troy Hill Dr. Ste. 200
Elkridge, MD 21075
(800)521-9282, ext. 5509
(410)567-3246, ext. 5509
(F)410-567-3682




1/14/02
Rick Evans

I just want to voice my support for bringing back UVM mens track and field.

 


Thank you,

Rick Evans
Track and XC 94-98




1/13/02
Chris Van Cott

Gentlemen,

I will make this brief as I am sure you are getting many similar e-mails. As a third year participant of the Men's Track and Field program at the University of Vermont and Captain elect for the 2002 Cross Country season, I believe the decision to terminate Men's Track and Field is a grave mistake. My teammates, friends, family and I strongly urge you to reconsider the decision and hope that reinstitution will occur. Thank you for you time.

 


Sincerely,
Chris Van Cott, Class of 2003




1/13/02
Anna Norgren Mahon

Dear Sirs,

I am writing in support of the University of Vermont Men's Track and Field Indoor and Outdoor programs. I graduated from UVM in 1996 and was captain of the women's team my senior year (1995-1996). I am the current record holder in the women's hammer throw at 182'7". After getting my start in hammer (having been a hurdler in high school) at UVM, I went to graduate school and became an English teacher near New Haven, CT. I have also, however, pursued my throwing career.

In 1996 I qualified (while an athlete for UVM) for the Olympic Trials in the hammer. Although I placed 19th, it was my first experience at a championship meet and Kus was there to support me all the way. Since then, I have increased my personal best by almost 40 feet to 219'6". I was the alternate to the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia and was a member of the national team which competed at the World Championships this past August. I am now ranked 16th in the world and 2nd in the United States. Without my start as a thrower at the University of Vermont, I would never have known my potential as a world class athlete. But getting started is not the only reason I am where I am today. I was not as successful as I had hoped I would be during my first season (1992-1993), and was planning on making that season my last. The reason I stuck with throwing can be attributed to one thing-my training partners, both of

The point of this brief personal history is to make you realize one very important thing: eliminating the men's track and field program will not only adversely affect the men participating in the program now, but will be devastating to their female training partners, their coaches, the alumni who follow the team's success, and the entire UVM community. I urge you to rethink this drastic decision to eliminate one of the finest programs the University has to offer male athletes. It is with great concern but extreme hope that I send this message.

 


Respectfully,
Anna Norgren Mahon




1/12/02
Steven A. Stebbins '83

I am writing once more to urge you to keep Men's Track & Field at UVM. Track is one of the most cost-effective sports available. There are many solid reasons for keeping Track; I'll just highlight a few:

  • Track athletes are disciplined high achievers, with consistently high GPAs
  • Track teams promote diversity, atracting some of the most diverse groups of athletes of any sport
  • Track and Field is very cost-effective

No matter how you look at it, Track supports UVM's institutional goals at least as well as any other sport, and better than most. Cutting Track would significantly degrade the UVM experience.

Finally, as a Burlington native, I would be deeply hurt to see UVM eliminate the only Division I Men's Track & Field program in Vermont. UVM offers the only opportunity for native Vermonters who love Track and their state to compete at the top collegiate level while attending school in Vermont. Eliminating the program would be a tremendous disservice to the State of Vermont and its aspiring high school athletes.

 


Most sincerely,

Steven A. Stebbins '83
UVM Record Holder, Men's 10,000 Meter Run




1/12/02
Stephanie Lovering

I am writing in support of UVM reinstating Men's Track and Field!

 


Stephanie Lovering




1/12/02
Doug Brown

Sirs, I was extremely distraught to hear about your recent decision to eliminate your Men's track&field program. Please excuse my bias since track has been most of my adult life. As a head coach at a Division 1 school for the past 17 years I'm all too familiar with the factors that go into a decision like this. What you may not have been aware of before making your difficult decision was how pure our sport really is. Being the worlds oldest sport as well as the flagship sport of the Olympic Games, there is a powerful "good guy" fellowship in throughout our sport. With the participation numbers as high as they are (2nd only to football nationally) and the minority opportunities that the sport provides, I've seen several other schools in our country attempt the same thing unsuccessfully in the past decade. The biggest issue being the threat of litigation due to potential eliminatiion of minority opportunities. In most smaller Division 1 State schools that I'm familiar with they actually benefit by being able to count mens and womens cross country, indoor and outdoor track as 6 sponsored sports toward Division 1 membership. As I understand it your school has the only D-1 track&field program in the state. Eliminating that in-state option is a dangerous venture in my opinion. It would seem too easy a sport to keep and avoid all the negative publicity and "bad guy" image. I would respectfully submit that you at least reconsider your decision on behalf of the worlds greatest and purest sport.

 


Sincerely yours in Track&field,

Doug Brown
Univ. of Florida Head Coach
1972--76--80 Olympian
1996 Asst. Olympic Coach




1/12/02
A.D. Kent

All:

I only recently learned about the potential demise of the UVM men's Track &Field program via a parent (Lauren Pike, ex-Financial Operations Manager, UVM College of Medicine). I would like to draft a more complete and direct message to all involved at a future date, but at this time I would like to express my anger and dissatisfaction with this decision. In contrast with other programs with dubious records of late (both on and off the competitive arena), UVM Track &Field has consistently brought respect to the University and is primarily responsible for the nurturing and professional development of some of highest graduate achievers today. As a Captain and member of the team during my entire tenure at UVM, it was very clear that the program was operated efficiently on a very trim budget. Considering the number of quality individuals that this program has produced over the years, I find it incredulous that the University is affording priority to short-term cost-cutting measures in lieu of a proven record of undergraduate enrichment.

Should this decision stand, I will stand fast with other successful alumnus who benefitted tremedously from the program in reconsidering my current and future plans to provide financial assistance the University.

 


Regards,

A.D. Kent (Class of 1992)
Director, e-Services
Docucorp International
akent@docucorp.com
adkent@mindspring.com
7219972@skytel.com
770.858.2253
770.640.5120




1/11/02
Jeffrey Simms

To whom it may concern,

I recently heard of the decision to eliminate the Men's Track &Field team at the University of Vermont. I really have no connection with UVM Track &Field, however, I do have a strong connection to running and that is why such a decision saddens me.

As a runner I know the camaraderie and joy that comes with being on a team training and racing together for months. This is something that is extremely valuable to me and has provided me with some of my best memories of my high school and college days. I'm sure your runners feel the same and to have that taken from them surely breaks their hearts and the hearts of all the past alumni who have gained so much from their participation on the team.

I support the UVM Men's Track &Field and encourage you all to do the same. It would be a shame to lose something so important and valuable to so many without necessary cause.

 


Sincerely,

Jeffrey Simms
President of Club Track &Cross-Country
The University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill




1/11/02
Stephen M. Shea

I am a avid supporter and alumni of the UVM Men's Track and Field program. The men's Track and Field program has had an extremely valuable impact on my and many other student-athletes lives. I strongly encourage you to do everything in your power to reinstate this program immediately. The loss of this program will have a devastating effect of the quality of athletics and life at UVM and Vermont.

I will do my part in supporting the reinstatement of this program through current and future financial contributions.

 


Sincerely;

Stephen M. Shea
UVM Track 1979-1983
Team Captain 1981-82 and 1982-83
Multiple and Current Record Holder
Sunderland Award Recipient 1983




1/11/02
Ellen Binns

As a supporter of UVM athletics, and a former XC alumn I was saddened to hear Men's track was being cut. I received an e-mail and I am writing to let you know I am support the effort to try and save the Men's track program at UVM.

 


Ellen Binns
Class of 2000




1/11/02
Jeffrey Kaufman, M.D.

Dear Sir

As a UVM alumnus ('74) and a UVM track participant during my 1st year at UVM, I would like to encourage you and the University to do whatever it can to maintain a Cross Country and Winter/Sppring track program at UVM.

Apparently the cost is low. The gain is high. The participants are deserving. A track program benefits the University.

 


Thanks for your consideration.




1/11/02
Bob Murphy

Please add my name to those who favor finding some way to retain the very important track program at UVM.

 


Sincerely,
Bob Murphy
Classes of '61 (BSCE) and '82 (MSCE)




1/11/02
Kristal Kostiew

To Whom it may Concern~

I am writing on behalf of the mens track and field program at the University of Vermont. As a current student athlete on the women's team I am greatly affected by the decision to cut the program. I plead with you not to cut this program, as a teammate to these guys I can tell you first hand that their ties with us go far deeper than can be seen. They are part of our workouts, bus rides, cheering sections and support as friends ... basically I KNOW first hand that with the absence of this part of our team, the rest of the team WILL suffer. This is a program that brings in many many great quality young men and gives an opportunity unlike any other that UVM has to offer. Buy taking this program out you are not only affecting the opportunities young men have at UVM but also decreasing the quality of your students that will attend. Please, please reconsider your decision to cut this program.

 


Thanks,
Kristal Kostiew

PS- due to time restraints I can't write more, but I would love to... I have many many more feelings on this matter. So you will probably be hearing from me again soon!!!!!!!! Watch out!!!!!!!! GO UVM TRACK!!!!!!!!! :)




1/11/02
Richard L. Cleveland

Dear UVM administrators and legislators:

On behalf of the Central Vermont Runners Club, I want to offer this letter in support of the UVM men's track and field team.

As runners and Vermonters, we are disappointed, disheartened, and more than a little angry at the University's decision to slash this program. Running and track and field are not sexy sports; these athletes are inured to laboring in the shadows of basketball players and hockey players and baseball players. They are accustomed, as a Vermont farmer would say, to sucking hind tit.

I understand that the University has a host of problems; no one who reads the papers could fail to see this. However, a good share of your difficulties appear to be self-inflicted, and they send the wrong messages to prospective students and their parents. This decision strikes us as another in that series. Doubtless the athletes in women's track and field and in men's and women's cross country are looking over their shoulders and wondering when the axe will fall on them.

I think the following are worth considering:

  • As the sole Division 1 school in the state, UVM is the only alternative for Vermont high school track athletes who wish to compete at that level without leaving the state. Participation in track in field at the high school level in Vermont is very high.
  • The percentage of Vermont residents participating in track and field and cross country is the highest of any UVM varsity sports.
  • NCAA statistics suggest that track and field programs offer universities the greatest opportunity within athletics to meet the Association's goal of boosting the number of minority students.
  • The cumulative grade point averages of the men's track and field team is one of the highest on campus.
  • And finally, there is this point: The track and field program has a markedly lower cost per participant than any other varsity sport at UVM.

It is also worth noting that that the University of New Hampshire managed to raise about $500,000 for its new track. Did the UVM Athletic Department conduct a campaign to raise funds from alumni and foundations for track and field? I understand that it did not.

The Central Vermont Runners Club strongly urges that the decision to eliminate men's track and field be reversed, that the program be reinstated, and that supporters of the program be allowed to mount a campaign to raise funds. If this happens, CVR will be pleased to make a contribution to the campaign.

 


Yours truly,

Richard L. Cleveland, President
Central Vermont Runners Club




1/11/02
Derek M. Beard

Dear UVM Administrators:

I am saddened and disappointed to hear that UVM will be terminating the mens track and field program at the end of the 02 season. As a four year undergraduate student at UVM (94) I ran cross country; proudly representing the GREEN AND GOLD where ever we went. Many of my team mates also ran indoor and outdoor track. There were also a good number of my team mates who were nordic skiers that used cross country and track to supplement their off season training for skiing.

I think the most important point that needs to be communicated here is the significant modification in the daily life of a UVM track &field student athelete. Speaking from my own experience as a UVM student athelete runnning cross country; EVERYDAY, I looked forward to practice and exercising my physical body - knowing that for most of that day I exercised my brain in class. This dicotomy between academics and athletics is so very important. This dicotomy kept my life structured and most importantly kept me MOTIVATED to do my very best in both the classroom and on the cross country running course. Students in the USA are taught at a very young age that athletics/exercise are a key component to a balanced, productive and HEALTHY life. I can remember going to gym class everyday from kindergarden up through 8th grade and then after school team athletics starting in high school.

TODAY, exercise, especially running plays an extremely important role in my life. When the stresses of my job or young adulthood become burdensome, I find solace in running. Running provides me with perspective in a rapidly moving competitive world.

With all due respect, I truly believe that UVM is making a grave mistake by terminating the mens track and field program. I strongly believe that if it is UVM's goal to nurture well rounded students who are motivated and ready to make a productive contribution in the real world; than the University must support the mens track &field program forever. Its hard for me to understand that this would not be the goal for all UVM faculty and administrators.

In the end it comes down to CHOICES. Please make the RIGHT DECISION and support the men's track and field program. Its the RIGHT THING TO DO.

 


respectfully yours,
Derek M. Beard (undergraduate 94)




1/11/02
Mack Gardner-Morse

Dear David Nestor, Thomas Gustafson, Thomas Patterson, Ian DeGroot, John Bramley and President Edwin Colodny,

Please bring back Men's Track &Field! Although I did not letter in a sport at UVM, I did run with the UVM's Men's Cross Country team. I continue to run as a member of the Central Vermont Runners for both health and enjoyment of the sport.

As a member of the Central Vermont Runners, it is important to the Vermont running community that UVM keep its Track &Field program. Many Vermont High School students excel in Track &Field and it is important that UVM continue to offer Track &Field to attract Vermont students.

I'm disappointed that when the field house was renovated that the track was not rebuilt to NCAA standards. Hopefully, I future renovation can bring the track up to NCAA standards. I would be willing to contribute to such a renovation.

I think it is important that UVM keep the Men's Track & Field team for the integrity of the running program at UVM (both Men's and Women's and for the Cross Country teams).

I hope UVM will reverse its decision and support the Men's Track &Field team.

Thank you for your help in this matter.

 


Sincerely yours,

Mack Gardner-Morse
University of Vermont
Department of Orthopaedics &Rehabilitation
401C Stafford Hall
Burlington, VT 05405-0084 USA
E-Mail: Mack.Gardner-Morse@uvm.edu
Telephone: 802-656-4244
FAX: 802-656-4247




1/10/02
Bill Hannon

Although I am not a graduate of UVM (Northeastern 61) I did spend a fair amount of time following my son's running career at Castleton in cross country. I hope you folks will find a way to try save the UVM program as it affects a lot of students in the state.

 


Bill Hannon




1/10/02
Ben Winther

Not that anybody cares, because these decisions are usually made by people who don't, but this is crap. Everyone knows the most cost effective program for any athletic dept. is Track and Cross Country. I ran for UMASS years ago and I am appalled that one of our foremost opponents is being stricken down like this. This is very upsetting.

 


Big Ben Winther




1/10/02
Karl Tanner

I have been sitting on the sidelines up to this point regarding the loss of the Men's Track and Field Team. I am a '94 graduate with a Civil Engineering degree and was a member of the Varsity Track Team as a pole vaulter.

I am opposed to the recent elimination of the team, and fail to see any rationale for it, particularly after reading the unsubstantiated reasoning for it and seeing the data showing the negilable amount of money that the school is saving. Track is an all around good wholesome activity, which UVM cannot afford to lose. I found that running track provided me with physical, mental, and social accomplishment. The intrinsic value of supporting this team far outweighs the monetary cost.

I attended UVM from out of state, and can honestly say that my experiences with the track team remain a deep rooted positive memory. The elimination of the team supports the fickle reputation that UVM is rapidly gaining and is reminiscent of the contemplation to eliminate the School of Engineering in 1992.

The recent direction that the school seems to be going (in terms of curriculum changes, handling of the "party school reputation" and handling of sports issues) is not reinforcing my confidence in the university. Being a current resident of Vermont, I hesitate to send my two sons to the school and support this apparent lack of coherent direction and development of values.

The reversal of the decision to eliminate the track team would be a step in the right direction to show that the University supports values of personal achievement.

 


Karl Tanner
Dufresne-Henry
Ph: 802-886-2261
Fax: 802-886-2260




1/10/02
J. Johnson

As a graduate of UVM ('88) and a former member of the Men's Cross-Country team I implore you to reconsider your decision to eliminate Men's Track and Field. Not only does it damage UVM's standing as a university offering a full array of experiences but damages many students ability to get a complete education. Although my bachelor of science has been helpful to the development of my career, my experiences on the cross-country team made me a better person and taugh me to strive harder and compete on every level. For the sake of UVM's reputation as a complete university, please save Men's Track and Field. Please contact me if I can be of further assistance.




1/10/02
David Swan

Dear Sirs:

As you may have heard from previous Emails from myself and others, we are in strongest hopes that you will reconsider your decision to cancel the UVM Men's Track and Field Program.

Aside from the responsibilities in my job at Altera Corporation I have spent many years on the staff of the USA Track &Field organization (Olympic Track and Field). Aside from my personal disappointment and strong disagreement with this decision, I am also disturbed by a non-personal/national side of this. I am currently the US Army's Olympic development coach for Track and Field throwing events and on the USA T&F national committee for increasing Olympic metals and producing more competitive Olympic Track and Field athletes.

My greatest national concern with regard to UVM's Men's T&fprogram is that Track and Field, unlike most other sports, has little or no "feeder" programs to produce future Olympians. In 98% of the states in our great country, the event that I was the USA Olympic Chairman for (Hammer throw) does not even exist at the high school level. Eliminating a top producing, highly regarded, Division-1 olympic feeder program like the one Ed Kusiak has produced (incredibly without scholarships) is a great disappointment to us at USA Olympic Track and Field. You will have eliminated an excellent program where few truely good non-scholarship programs exist. For our sake at USA Track and Field, I strongly urge you to reconsider. If it weren't for UVM Men's Track and especially Ed Kusiak, I would never have attained my success and several track athletes would not have made it to the Olympic games and proudly represented our country.

 


Thanks

David Swan
Sr. Manager, Global Network Operations
Altera Corporation
San Jose CA




1/10/02
Julie Dutra Farrington

As a past participant of UVM's Track &Field program I would hate to see it's demise. Please reconsider. What you take away goes way beyond the program itself.

 


Sincerely,
Julie Dutra Farrington - Class '92




1/10/02
Bob Ingegneri

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I don't usually get very emotional or involved in much of the activities at the University of Vermont. However, the issue of eliminating five varsity sports at UVM has me outraged. If it wasn't for Coach Kusiak and UVM track, I would have gone to another university.

I am currently serving in the United States military. I have seen an incredible change in America since 11 September 2001. We can do anything we set our minds to. If UVM wants successful academic and athletic programs, it will be done.

There have been no valid reasons presented to UVM alumni and athletes as to the justification of these five sports. Obviously, there has been a great deal of discussion since the initial announcement. Many new points have been raised...all of which support keeping these sports at the varsity level.

I look forward to the announcement of UVM's decision to revisit the issue and keep all five sports active!

 


Sincerely,
Bob Ingegneri




1/10/02
Karen Millham

Good morning!

I would like to add my voice to all those who are supporting the UVM Men's Track team. Please reconsider and reinstate this team. There have been many good reasons presented to you and I hope you will carefully review each one of them.

Track is a wonderful sport. It not only challenges the individual, but also fosters team character. Where else do you see team members and fans cheering not only their team members, but also members of different teams? These athletes are great role models!

Please reconsider this decision. Please reinstate the UVM Men's Track Team today!

 


Thank you for your time.
Karen Millham




1/10/02
Bernard T. Gagnon

To all, I support UVM Track and hope that this important program will continue. I previously wrote a letter of support that is the UVM Track web site that I sent to several of you explaining my rationale. Please keep Men's Track at UVM!!!

 


Bernard T. Gagnon
Class of '80 and former UVM Track captain.




1/10/02
Sara Kinnamon

As a former member of the UVM Track and Field Team, I would like to have it be known that I have a strong interest and would be willing to support (financially and in other ways) the reinstatement of Men's Track &Field at the University of Vermont. Please let me know what I can do to help. Also,please be aware that there is an extremely large and strong network of parents and alumni that feel the same way that I do.

 


Thank you.

Sara Kinnamon
Class of 2000
T&F and Cross Country team member




1/10/02
Chris McDermott

I just learned from a UVM track athlete that the program is being discontinued. I did not go to UVM but ran Track and Cross Country for Villanova University and found that experience phenomenal. Student athletes in my opinion learn to organize and priority their time effectively balancing their academic requirements with their daily athletic practices. These organizational skills are valuable long after leaving the college campus when these individuals are introduced into the real world and are required to balance their personal and professional lives.

The discipline learned and required to maintain solid academic success while performing at a high athletic levels is valuable to maturing adults.

Please reconsider your decision for the benefit of the University of Vermont and the current and future student athletes this decision effects.




1/10/02
Debra Baslow

Playing sports teaches the students to be well-rounded, self-disiplined and focused on their priorities to achieve their goals. Why the school thinks that these values are not important, I do not know. I support the reinstatement of UVM Men's Track and Field and so do many others.

 


Debra Baslow




1/10/02
Vic Zimmerman

As a UVM alimni I must inform you of my great disappointment with university administration for taking actions this past fall to eliminate several athletic programs. While some of these programs, admittedly, appealed to an extremely small minority of students, the track &field program was not one of them. This was one program supported by students crossing all colleges and programs within the university. In addition, track &field is one sport which accepts many students who would otherwise, never have the opportunity to participate in an athletic program.

I strongly feel that track and field should be reinstated as a fully supported UVM sport and ask for your support to take this step. It is clearly a worthwhile investment of university funds.

 


Thank you.

Vic Zimmerman,
undergraduate class of 73,
MBA class of 77




1/9/02
The Deane Family

Expect a good deal of e-mail over this issue. To quote a creative State beauracrat who was trying to get a recalcitrant municipality to acknowledge the facts of a situation,"We'll do anything we can to help...except go away." BRING BACK UVM MEN'S TRACK AND FIELD, and do it soon!!

 


The Deane Family &Friends
Springfield, Vermont




1/9/02
Thomas Johnson

To the UVM Administration-

I would like to inform you of my support for the reinstatement of UVM Men's Track and Field. Track was my heart and soul for all 4 years I attended UVM from 1995 to 1999. Every single day I look at a photograph of the team that was given to me during my senior year and remember the fun times and the great people. I sincerely hope you reconsider your decision.

 


Thank you,

Thomas D. Johnson, EI
UVM Men's Track and Field 1995-1999
Co-Captain 1999




1/9/02
Chris Jasparro, Ph.D.

To All Concerned,

I am writing (yet again to many of you) to reaffirm my support for the reinstatement of Men's Track and Field at UVM, to ask the administration to seek the necessary funding to maintain the team and to express my support for the requests brought to senior administration members on 17 December by alumni representatives. Furthermore, I would like to remind the members of the administration of the steadily mounting evidence being presented to you which demonstrates how the student-athletes, coaches, and alumni of the men's and women's track and field teams are representative of the best UVM has to offer. I hope the distinguished members of the administration will reconsider their decision and display the courage and wisdom UVM students, staff, faculty, and alumni expect from their leaders.

 


Sincerely,
Chris Jasparro, Ph.D.
(UVM Track and Field '89)








IT IS TIME

-To those who proudly wore the Green and Gold for the Men's Track and Field Team

IT IS TIME

-To those who proudly wore the Green and Gold for the Women's Track and Field Team

IT IS TIME

-To those parents,brothers and sisters,sons and daughters of the proud men and women who wore the Green and Gold

IT IS TIME

-To the parents and friends of the current athletes proudly wearing the Green and Gold

IT IS TIME

-To all those who love the great sport of Track and Field Let the Green Mountains of the great state of Vermont come alive with the voices of all those who love Vermont, The University of Vermont and Vermont Track and Field.  With ONE voice let's send the message "BRING BACK UVM MEN'S TRACK AND FIELD"

IT IS TIME FOR THE UVM ADMINISTRATION TO HEAR FROM ALL OF US!!!!!

 

ED KUSIAK
KUS




Posted on 10/24/2001
Eric P. Benson

Dear President Colodny,

I recently received the news that the UVM Men's Indoor and Outdoor Track programs are being eliminated after this season. As an alumnus who benefited greatly from my participation on the UVM track teams, I find this news disheartening.

From 1975 - 79 my participation on the Indoor and Outdoor Track Teams played an integral role in my UVM experience. Currently I am an Associate Professor at Clemson University, where big time college athletics reigns. As an average athlete at UVM, I now realize that I would have had little chance to make the track team at a Division I school like Clemson. However, Coach Kusiak and UVM provided the unique opportunity for me to compete. More importantly, my involvement with the track team provided growth experiences and relationships I would never have forged at other universities.

I am pleased that you are not cutting other running programs. However, I don't see the wisdom in cutting the men's track programs while keeping men's and women's cross country and women's indoor and outdoor track. All of these programs are synergistic and the added expense of keeping the men's track programs should be minimal.

In your letter in the latest Vermont Quarterly you stated: We are about education. That's not just about preparing for a job. It's about the opportunity, and the serious responsibility to look beyond ourselves, to show the way to making this community, this nation, and this world a better place. And to be leaders, not bystanders, in that vital quest.

The opportunity to participate in track and field programs helped me look beyond myself to my team. Coach Kusiak taught me what it was like to be a leader, not a bystander, playing a key role in my development, my drive to continue my graduate studies, and my active involvement in my community today.

You won't find my name in any UVM record books or in the Athletic Hall of Fame, but you'll find no one who benefited more by his experiences or who is more saddened by the loss of these programs. Cutting the programs will create a hole in your vision of a University that is about education and making the world a better place. And in that hole will be the lost opportunities for many young men.

Of all of my professors at UVM, Coach Kusiak was my most important mentor. Please seek his wisdom and insight, and please reconsider this decision.

 

Sincerely

Eric P. Benson, Ph.D. Class of 79
Clemson, SC




Posted on 10/17/2001
Steven M. Eustis
seustis@btv.ibm.com

Dear President Edwin Colodny,

As a runner of this great state of Vermont, I know the great educational and fitness value of running and track and field. Unfortunately recent University of Vermont administration actions have eliminated funding for the men's track and field team at UVM. As befits a small but comprehensive university and with a special partnership with the citizens of Vermont, I respectively seek its reinstatement as a University Sponsored Athletic Program.

Please take a moment to consider the following: All Vermont Division 1 & 2 High Schools have Track and Field Teams. Most Vermont Division 3 High Schools have Track and Field Teams. Vermonters comprise 65 to 75 percent of the UVM Men's Track and Field team. 1995 thru 2000, UVM Men's claimed 55 separate first, second, and third place finishes in the America East Conference. We acknowledge the fiduciary responsibility of the Trustees and officers of the Administration at UVM. It is important for the Trustees and Administration to be aware of its affiliation and commitment to provide admissions for Vermont residents in ways consistent with principles upon which UVM was founded. UVM should not give our Vermont runners a reason to leave the state to attend other universities.

 

Sincerely,

Many runners of the state of Vermont (listed separately*)


*NOTE: This letter is currently being signed by runners across the state.
It will be available for signing at the Green Mountain Marathon and 1/2 Marathon on Oct. 20th. For more information about these races, go to www.gmaa.net




Posted on 10/17/2001
Marie T. Carmichael
Marie_Carmichael@windsor.k12.vt.us

Ladies and Gentlemen

As a Vermont resident and the parent of a UVM Junior, a high school graduate from the class of 2000 and 3 prospective high school grads from the class of 2002, I have spent many hours reading UVM catalogs. Our first one dates back to 1997 and the one I hold now is 1999-2000. As I peruse the pages I know why my son decided to leave Dickinson College in Pennsylvania, as a first semester freshman, to return to Vermont life.

I have come to the section regarding Life at the University. There are four components, living; activities; organizations; and sports & recreation with an overarching quote that reads, "Work hard, play well...",a quote from Dean Blatt, then UVM's vice president for student affairs.

Work hard, play well, an expectation of UVM students. The text goes on to read, students are an active group - more than half take part in varsity athletics, club sports, or intramurals during their years on campus.(p. 17)

Being in the dual role of parent and educator, I have come to take great pride in my state and it's place in the move toward adopting standards and expectations for students, educators and those who are involved in the education of Vermont students.

It is an educator that I address this letter to the Athletic Council.

My greatest role as a teacher has been to watch my children grow in this beautiful state while preparing them for their adult lives as leaders of tomorrow. Having our family in Vermont, where they could grow healthy in body and spirit was the perfect back drop for the values education that was so important for us to share which came naturally in word and deed. Going to UVM my son has also had the honor to learn from many fine teachers and coaches who have nurtured and carried on the role of imparting values to instill those same leadership goals. Do more than expected. Don't settle for mediocrity. If something is wrong make it right. Never give up. How fortunate for all the sons and daughters at the University of Vermont to know that these values are living words not just cliches and jargon.

Vermont has been the perfect place to introduce and develop in our children their awareness of balance of life. UVM gave my son the opportunity to grow stronger in mind, emotion, spirit and body. Work hard, play well..? What could the adults of my generation have been thinking when they chose to publicly announce cuts in the very programs that the university professes to boast that more than half the student body takes part in during their college years. A crucial decision, without warning, directly affecting the future lives of many people and putting our sons and daughters in mental and emotional turmoil, 2 days before their season opening race, with so much devastation going on around them.

Working hard and playing well depends on personal motivation, perseverance, the desire to learn and the right blend of challenge and task expectations that are neither too difficult or too simple for people's abilities. The one thing we as educators know best is that learning is a social activity and with "more than half of UVM students taking part in varsity athletics...", the learning potential in each social setting is limitless. Do you really want to start cutting costs in athletics knowing that our future leaders must be healthy in body as much as in spirit, emotion and mind.

The Director of Athletics wrote in his letter of September 28, 2001,

"Athletics would need to examine it's offerings and it's abilities to provide quality experiences with diminishing resources. Services to programs, administrative attention and resources were being spread far too thin to provide the kind of experiences we hoped to achieve."

I must have missed meeting Mr. Farnham at any of the indoor track and outdoor track and field events, and he must have missed the quality experience of Catamount pride and spirit that this team of over 50 men and women displayed winter and spring for the past two years. Services to programs, one bus? Administrative attention, 3 coaches for 52 people, no trainers. Resources being spread too thin?

Finally Mr Farnham mentions, "University commitment and enhanced dollars in many areas is the first step in helping the Athletics program become better suited to providing a quality experience." He goes on to point out the areas most in need are scholarships, facilities, operating revenue and salaries. Who would these scholarships apply to? The men in the cross country and the track and field programs are not offered scholarships. What is the upkeep and maintenance cost of the track at UVM? What about University commitment to Vermont and the future athletes who love their state and want to represent their state in a sport that may carry them one day to Olympic competition?

I am so honored to have my son attend the University of Vermont and to be surrounded by the beauty of the Green Mountains and one of the finest institutions of education and life. It is here he has met quality leaders and grown with champion men and women and we sincerely hope he will be able to complete his dream of becoming another one of the top Vermont runners in UVM history.

I thank the UVM Board for professing the words of Dean Blatt , "Work hard, play well," and I ask them now to consider the words of Oscar Wilde, "Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes." After experiencing the passion and expression with respect to what mens' indoor and outdoor track and field means to past and present alumni alike, Take Vermont Running Forward and bring back men's indoor and outdoor track and field to UVM.

 

Respectfully yours,

Marie T. Carmichael




Dear President Colodny,

First, let me congratulate you on your acceptance as interim President of UVM. I believe you can put us back on our feet again with the support of us all.

Now about me, who I am and what I hope that you can do.
I am Reginald H. Arnold, Class of 1930, B.S. in Civil Engineering.
I attended my 71st class reunion last June- Green and Gold Luncheon.
One other member of my class attended also.

I got to talking with the Alumni office person- Pat Brennen about scholarship endowments and came home all enthused about doing something. I have always had a great love for UVM and the State of Vermont. I worked 41 years as a practicing P.E. in Civil Engineering and surveyor in Vermont...I was 39 years in the Vermont Highway Dept- the last ten years as Assistant and Chief Engineer. I retired in 1973 and signed a contract with a Highway Management firm and was sent to Vietnam to be in charge of 15 engineers and to set up their Vietnam highway Administration. We were driven out of Saigon on April 15, 1975 and thus I retired a second and last time as a practicing Civil Engineer. I remarried and moved to Sun City, Arizona where we lived for 25 years. When my wife passed away with cancer, I moved back to Vermont.

Now, I want to tell you about my years at UVM (1926-1930) where I participated on the track team- running the mile or 2 mile on alternate weeks. Track stars, Archie Post, O.T. Wood, Carl (Sonny) Simpson were Jr. And Seniors then and Jack Latly, a professor, was our Coach and a strict one he was.

Track is an individual sport, you are the master of yourself...you learn discipline, leadership, endurance to the limit, comradeship, how to budget you time...all these qualities learned at no expense- our track shoes were even loaned to us!

I ran in cross country each Fall and was Captain my Junior year. After 4 years of this, the qualities mentioned above were all drilled into me and I have never forgotten them and have "used" them in my retirement years.

While in Sun City, I joined the movement of "Quality of Life"- very popular amongst older people. At age 75, I took up Cardiovascular exercise, running, walking and finally "Race Walking"- which is my favorite.

I developed Type II Diabetes when I was 55, I had a mild heart attack at 80 and a knee replacement at 87. In all instances, I was able to recover and continue to participate in yearly Arizona Senior Olympics and won Gold medals in my class.

At the time of my heart attack- it occurred while I was warming up for my usual 3 mile Race Walk. I was pretty disappointed and I asked the doctor if he thought it was due to my exercise. His reply was..."if it wasn't for your race walking, I am sure you would be dead now." Quite a bold statement! That was 14 years ago.

I am still here and will be 94 on 11/13/01. I continue to walk fast (1 1/3 mile) each day at the Mall and I elevate my pulse to 102-108, the most my doctor permits..

Of course, I take a minimum of medication-but honestly believe my doctor when he says that my cardiovascular effort is the real secret to my longevity. I further know, without hesitation, that the applications I learned as a track runner taught me how to care for my body to this day. I ask that you give serious thought to reconsider the decision to eliminate men's track and field. This gives young athletes something you don't read in a text book and even adds longevity to their older years.

I speak from experience as noted above. I think it is asking too much to give up all the great advantages derived from track participation. I hope this letter gets directly to you and hope you can take some action.

I am not a "crackpot" type of individual nor a doting old man. I am of sound mind !

 

Sincerely yours,

Reginald H. Arnold P.E. '30

P.S.

I am a UVM Grad
My deceased wife was a grad
Daughter and granddaughter are grads
Son-in-law was a grad
Grand-son's wife was a grad




Dear Mr. Nestor:

Do not eliminate UVM's Mens' Track & Field program. Over time, this ill-conceived and poorly executed decision will deprive many UVM students of a quality athletic experience, hurt UVM's reputation and its ability to attract a diverse group of motivated achievers, and hamper UVM's fundraising efforts. It should be reversed immediately.

Mens' Track & Field is one of UVM's most cost-effective programs, and one which most closely suppports UVM's stated values. Track & Field always attracts a diverse crowd, and its athletes consistently maintain some of the highest average GPAs of all sports teams. Most important, UVM offers the only quality collegiate track and field program in Vermont. This is an important point. At no other school can a Vermont track athlete compete for his state, wearing a Vermont jersey. As a Burlington, Vermont native, this was a critical factor in my decision to attend UVM. I am proud of my state, and the four years that I ran in a Vermont uniform were the most satisfying of my athletic career. My time as a UVM athlete was an essential formative experience that helped me develop the self-discipline to be an effective Army officer and prepared me to run on two USA teams in international competition. Depriving current and future students of this great experience would be a terrible shame.

Deciding to eliminate the program without consulting the coach, informing him that his program was being considered for elimination, or giving him the courtesy of notification before leaking the story to the press is appalling. I am embarrassed for UVM, and for the people involved in this decision. I hope that they learn from this experience, and that they are able to handle future decisions with more sensitivity, thoughtfulness, and wisdom.

 

Most sincerely,

Steven A. Stebbins
UVM '83
University record-holder, 10,000 meter run




Hello from a fellow runner. I am a member of the local Green Mountain Athletic Association (400+ members, all runners!). I am saddened by the news of men's track being cancelled. I did not run varsity at college (Penn State) (I ran in our competitive intramural league) but my wife ran varsity at Colgate. I know how important athletics is at a school, win or lose. Track is one of the most fundamental of all sports - I can't imagine cutting that from a sports program that plans to still keep more than 20 sports going! Is there something we local runners can do to help out? Is there a standard short letter that we might be able to sign and send out to a key person or group of persons? Please let me know what we can do.

 

Steven M. Eustis
Race Director of the Archie Post (another UVM track great!) Five Miler
Publicity officer of the GMAA -- web page: www.gmaa.net
e-mail: seustis@btv.ibm.com




I recently received a letter from the captains of the University of Vermont Men's Track and Field team informing me that the program was going to be eliminated at the end of the current academic year. I was appalled to hear of this turn of events.

Since the University is a public institution of higher education whose mission is to serve the needs of the state of Vermont, I feel it is a shortsighted decision to eliminate the Men's Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field Team. The Mission Statement from the Summer, 2001 Catamount Club Sports News states "Intercollegiate athletics at the University of Vermont promote the personal development of student-athletes, . . . fosters the pursuit of academic excellence, and provides community enrichment." It is a gross contradiction of the Mission Statement when a program whose participants are among the best student-athletes on campus is eliminated. If one considers that the cross-country team was ranked 34th nationally in GPA, and that all of those athletes also participate in Track and Field, one would be hard-pressed to find a better definition of the student-athlete. These disciplined and intelligent individuals are superb role models for students at all levels of education, as they rise to the challenge in the classroom and in competition. There is a lot to be said for the sound mind, sound body concept, and these students embody that ideal. If academic performance was not important to athletics, why then does every educational institution in the country have minimum academic standards for their athletes?

The Mission Statement refers to community enrichment. There are many former members of the Men's Track Team who have enriched their communities, both in and outside of Vermont, by staying involved with the sport and by drawing on their experience to help others. I am currently working as a mathematics teacher in Glen Rock, NJ, where I have also coached track. I am currently President of the New Jersey Track and Field Officials Association, an organization dedicated to improvement of the sport at the high school level. I have encouraged my students attend UVM, including one who qualified for the Mortar Board, Mary Beth Turanchik,, UVM Class of 1993. By eliminating the Men's Track team, you will be cutting off an important resource that benefits the people of the state of Vermont and the community of individuals that is UVM. There are a number of former track team members who are now "giving back" to the community in many capacities by teaching, coaching, and inspiring others to develop their potential as human beings. Remember, "It takes a village to raise a child."

In the Press Release dated September 14, David Nestor was quoted as saying, "This decision represents an important step forward in terms of focus and quality, and allows us to use our limited financial, human, and facilities resources more effectively." The press release made by the Athletic Department stated "if insufficient additional institutional funding is not available, internal reallocation within athletics will be necessary." To me, these quotes above clearly state that the future goal of the UVM Athletic Program is to develop one or two nationally ranked sports teams at the expense of all the others. However, no amount of money that is spent on the men's basketball program or men's hockey program can guarantee a nationally ranked team. A large checkbook does not insure success in intercollegiate athletics.

Is the business of higher education at UVM to have students achieve excellence in the classroom or perform in front of a packed Patrick Gym on the basketball court? Is the job of the new fund-raising czar to insure success on the basketball court by soliciting alumni donations? The Men's Track team is comprised of non-scholarship athletes who are as dedicated and committed to their sports as those who earn scholarships. Their dedication is shown every day in practice and in the classroom. They are highly disciplined, self-motivated, goal-oriented, and committed individuals who strive to be the best they can be in all endeavors. These qualities are as enduring as they are pervasive in all aspects of life. The experience of being part of a team, "a family," a group that helps its members achieve personal goals cannot be underestimated.

For the above reasons please reconsider the idea of eliminating the Men's Track Team. As a member of the Alumni Association who has long supported his alma mater, I request you seriously reexamine this decision.

 

Sincerely,

Tom Beatini, Class of 1980
22 Wierimus Road
Hillsdale, NJ 07642




Dear Dr. Colodny,

I was disappointed to learn of the University of Vermont's decision to discontinue the men's indoor and outdoor track program after the 2001-2002 season. I have reviewed the criteria behind this decision, read recent Burlington Free Press articles on the subject, and spoken with Coach Kusiak. I find it noteworthy that the level of participation at the high school level in Vermont, and positive campus and community image were not factors in the decision. It appears to me that this decision was arbitrary and focused on sports that are less "popular" with the community, thereby making it easier for the University administration to push the cut through. Given the criteria, "popular" sports, such as hockey, would not stand up to the test. I can't believe that the hockey team would rate higher than track in competitive level of success given their annual dismal performance on and off the ice. In addition, only a very small minority of students go to UVM because of its hockey program.

Academically, track and gymnastics have stellar records. I'm sure level of financial resources (the big bucks) played a major role in your decision. My intent is not to pick on the hockey program, as I know that all sports are valuable to their participants and to the campus community. However, I am left baffled as to why this cut was necessary. I was a participant and co-captain of the men's track team during the late 1970's. I found that involvement with the team greatly enhanced my experience at UVM. Coach Kusiak promoted a "family" environment among team members, often leading hiking trips on fall weekends and inviting team members to his home for meals. Having the men's and women's team train, travel, and compete together added to this positive environment.

I remain in contact with team members today and I know of more than a few marriages that occurred as a result of this positive interaction. I never knew coach Kusiak to cut a person from the team. Everyone was allowed to compete. One impact of this, which I'm sure you didn't consider in your decision, was the participation of athletes from other sports. Often, we had members from the men's soccer and basketball team's train and compete with us in the spring to supplement their training regimen. I'm sure this greatly enhanced their performance in their primary sports. Additionally, cross country and track are very much dependent upon one another. Virtually all cross country runners compete as long distance runners in track during the winter and spring.

Running is a year round sport. So, by cutting men's track, you've also cut cross country. No long distance runner of merit would do one without the other. Finally, track has much more widespread participation in Vermont (and nationwide) than almost any other sport at UVM. Thus, the potential to attract potential students is higher. I found it interesting that you kept the women's track program. The incremental cost of having a men's team is negligible under this scenario. Coaching and transportation are already covered. The only additional cost is additional rooming for away meets. A recent Free Press (October 6, 2001) article said that you assumed that you would save Ĺ the cost of the track program by cutting the men's team. I think it would be much less than that. The article stated that the savings was on the order of $40,000 to cut the men's program (assuming Ĺ). I'd put the savings at about half that amount, or about $20,000 based on my experience with the team. The article went on to state that the University gets $13,000 for every sport it offers from the NCAA. So, the net savings was about $7,000 a year. I'm confounded that you would take away such a positive student experience and enhancement to other sports programs for a paltry amount such as this.

Finally, the academic performance of the athletes participating in the sports you cut is stellar. The men's track team has some of the finest student's on campus. My academic experience at UVM prepared me for a very successful career in the engineering profession. Additionally, while browsing the University's web site I found that the men's gymnastics team was also recognized as "Academic National Champion". You are certainly sending the wrong message on the importance that the University places on academics by cutting teams that have great student athletes.

I certainly recognize that the University is undergoing financial difficulties and that an examination of finances in all areas is necessary. However, the benefit to cost ratio for this decision is heavily in favor of keeping the men's track program. The University administration has stated that they would consider keeping the program (Free Press, October 6, 2001) if they can assure the funding will be there. My question, and I haven't seen it defined anywhere, is how much will it take. I recommend that the University set up a separate alumni fund for each sport. You've hired a Director of Development who's job it is to raise money. Put him to work! Set an annual goal for alumni contributions, and I'm sure that the legions of us that have been positively impacted over the years will top it. I've told coach Kusiak that I'm willing to help out in any way necessary to assure that men's track remains intact at UVM. I'm happy to do this through a financial contribution (as I've done in the past) or by donating my time to organize alumni or help in some other way.

I sincerely hope that when the weight of evidence is in from those concerned, that you will reconsider your decision to drop men's track. This program has a long and distinguished history at UVM and has positively impacted many. Ultimately, the University will loose much more in lost enrollment than the paltry amount saved. It would be a real loss to the University community and to the State of Vermont student's that aspire to attend UVM to drop this program. Please don't!

 

Respectfully,

Bernard T. Gagnon
Class of 1980




From One Who Cares About UVM Track and Field-

I chose to matriculate at the University of Vermont in 1972, primarily because of the recruitment efforts of then Men's Track and Field Coach William Nedde. This simple decision had a profound impact on my life. I completed my Undergraduate and Graduate degrees at UVM, married my wife who is currently an Associate Professor in Psychology at UVM and joined a handful of individuals (from UVM) to launch a company that now employs 200 Vermonters.

I also participated in Men's Cross Country and Track and Field from 1972 - 1976. This experience greatly expanded my personal vision and horizons. It was a privilege to spend time with this motivated, and diverse group of individuals. I learned discipline, how to deal with and overcome obstacles, to accept my limitations and enjoy my strengths. This experience provided me with a treasure chest of rich experiences to draw from throughout my adult life.

The announcement of UVM's decision to terminate Men's Track and Field was shocking to say the least. More disheartening was this vague set of "Criteria", which upon reflection just doesn't hold up.

Previous letters of outrage have clearly reviewed these issues (www.uvmtrack.com ). Highlights include:

  • No one can argue that the student-athletes that currently and have made up the Track and Field program are not some of the finest at UVM, often with an average GPA over 3.0. The Men's Track and Field team passes the academic quality test!

  • There is no real cost savings, if even 50% of the current or future Track and Field student athletes do not decide to attend UVM. At the current blended instate/out of state tuition rates this could easily represent over $200,000 per year in lost tuition. All of us are increasingly aware that UVM is already struggling to recruit adequate students. Why ravage this existing and proven source of high quality student-athletes? The financial cost criterion just doesn't hold up to any scrutiny.

  • Did this administration committee review the database of UVM Track and Field Alumnae to understand their current level of their gifts and donations to UVM? UVM has proudly announced the creation of a new Athletic Fundraising Czar. Did he recognize the potential loss of allegiance and gift potential by alienating 1000's of devoted alumnae who are part of a 100 year old Men's Track and Field tradition?

  • UVM Men's team is not a National or even a Regional Track and Field power. At the same time consider the lack of scholarships, coupled with extremely high tuition. It is remarkable to note that there is a steady annual emergence of a handful of "stars" that do compete very successfully on a regional and national basis. See Larry Kimball's historical overview and UVM's own stats at www.uvmtrack.com on some of the recent "stars" of UVM. How ironic is that on a current Administration Home Page there exists in bold letters the announcement that Anna Norgren "96" will compete in the IAAF World Track and Field Championships, only slightly below the announcement that Men's Track and Field is being canceled. How can you debate that there is inadequate success achieved by the Men's Track and Field when the facts so clearly contradict this?

  • Much has been said about the 27 Sports Programs that UVM supports, as compared to other America East schools. Perhaps UVM has better embraced the real meaning of the term student-athlete. At the same time, the more relevant question is "have any of these schools canceled Men's Track and Field"?

Yes, all of this may simply come down to money, who has it and what team can generate it. Isn't college athletics supposed to be about more than this? Greek tradition gave birth to Track and Field, traditions that clearly emphasized a balance between our intellect and our bodies. Sadly, this balance is missing among the "Criteria" emphasized by this group of administrators.

As a businessperson, I have been taught to carefully focus resources to increase value. All of us who participated or are associated with the Men's Track and Field family, both today and yesterday, are "shareholders" in its future. We are ready to stand up and be counted and make the financial sacrifices necessary to preserve a valuable asset. Give us a chance.

I pledge my support to a full assault on this short sighted and myopic decision and urgently request the Board of Trustees to show their courage and leadership skills by immediately reversing this draconian reaction and to reinstate Men's Track and Field at UVM.

Let the Games begin.

 

Peter Weith, BS, MBA
Co-Captain 1976
Wasson Award - Outstanding Scholar-Athlete 1976
weithp@biotek.com




To: The Burlington Free Press

Inexplicably appropriate: Your article about the Taking of the Track Team 1, 2, 3, along side an article on Nostradamus, --The Complete Prophesies and other stories. There was an almost immediate onslaught of unprecedented interest in the late (17th century?) soothsayer after the attacks on New York and the Pentagon. Superstition reigned supreme; logic faded fast and a vast swath of the populous cowered under the horoscopes and time lines of our day.. William Butler Yates was writing of this when he penned his poem, The Second Coming, a time wherein "The best lack all conviction and the worst are full of passionate intensity." They attack track!

Who will come to the rescue of UVM Track? I certainly will. I for one will offer financial support simply out of conviction that it is wrong to shut down university-sanctioned running at UVM. It is wrong not as a matter of money (there is always enough money) but rather wrong as a matter of the quality of individuals UVM will exclude from its ranks, wrong as matter of stopping the development of other individuals who--not only might but will come back to repay UVM and society twenty times over what it now costs UVM to continue the program. Excluding track excludes from the University a collective set of individuals with desire, skills, leadership, discipline --qualities that no great place can do with out. Surely some of the kids will stay at UVM without track. They will labor alone or in small groups and, yes, even becomes leaders of this state in this century. But what kind of comment is it on the University when it says it will eliminate Track, the most independent of all sports in a most independent-mined state. Track, pure athleticism void of hype and cover: Team sports can cover you on an off day; running indoors, outdoors or in the hills in cross-country has no such sanctuary. There is no cover. And the heart aches. The result is discipline, and the building of something which use to be called "character." Look around you. See who the leaders are--see how many of them are runners of some sort. They and the future runners of UVM can advance in their roles as leaders on their very own --and they will. -- But shame on UVM for not endorsing that advancement. And shame on UVM for stepping a little closer to the abyss by absurdly eliminating men's track & field and cross-country from its ranks. Nostradamus alongside UVM.

 

Carl Jay Gutierrez, MD
3600 Ave du Parc #A-2809
Montreal, Quebec H2X 3R2

Home (514) 845-1345
Cell (514) 865-3368
Fax (208) 460-7831
www.carljay.com




To The UVM Administration:

I am a proud graduate of the UVM class of 2000. I am also a proud graduate of UVM's Track and Field program. Like all other UVM T&F current team members and alumni, I am upset with the University's decision to eliminate their program after the 2002 season. As an alumn, I would like for you to help me to better understand this decision. I would also like some help to understand how it was that Coach Kusiak was not even given an opportunity to defend his program...a program that he has dedicated his life to build. I would also like to understand what steps the team and alumni could take to reverse this decision. The UVM men's team is comprised of the type of students that you all as administrators must dream about. Hard working, dedicated, mature, talented, intelligent, goal-oriented and loyal men. These guys are not asking for much, just a chance to compete...in most cases it is a chance to compete for their own state school. The team does not have scholarships, fancy equipment, fancy uniforms, fancy facilities or many coaches. The team does not ask for those things. The team just wants, and deserves, to wear the green and gold for years to come.

A response would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thank you.

Sara Kinnamon
UVM Track and Field Team Alumna,
Class of 2000




To whom it may concern:

It has just come to my attention that you are considering dropping Men's Track & Field from the list of University supported activities. I fully understand the difficulty in financially supporting a complete athletic program for men and women; today's environment of dwindling resources makes this extremely difficult. I believe, however, that special consideration should be given to this decision.

I speak from the perspective of someone who participated in collegiate Track & Field as an athlete, coach, and administrator for two university programs. Today's collegiate environments spend considerable efforts supporting sports that have very high economic costs relative to the number of individual participants. Track & Field affects many individuals for the financial investment required. My experience -- as an athlete, coach, and administrator -- is that I learned many things through my participation in this wonderful sport that I have been able to take on to my new professional career. Skills honed on the "practice field"; relationships with teammates and the university, affection and allegiance that now transfer into financial contributions. I urge you to reconsider your decision to drop the Men's Track & Field program from your athletic offering.

 

Carlos M. Alers
Vision, National Accounts Manager
800/334-8534 ext. 4216
970/225-9891 (Direct Dial)
carlos.alers@medic.com




Dear Governor Dean:

It is very seldom that I write to any political leaders, but I now feel compelled to do so in regard to a matter which may be trivial to you given the current situation affecting us all here in the United States.

On Thursday, September 13, the University of Vermont (perhaps using our nation's terrible tragedy as a veil) announced they were cutting five sports including the men's indoor and outdoor track and field programs. This year is the 100th anniversary of Track and Field at the University of Vermont. Among those who have participated in the sport at U.V.M. were Albert Gutterson of Springfield, the winner of the 1912 Olympic gold medal in the broad (long) jump and Clarence Demar of South Hero, a medallist in the 1936 Olympics and a seven time winner of the Boston Marathon. Judi St Hilaire from Lyndon was a seventh place finisher in the 10000 meter at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992. I dare say there have been over 2000 student athletes who have competed in the track and field program.

Growing up in Chittenden County, my early sports heros were not major sports figures, but rather U.V.M. track athletes and native Vermonters such as Larry Damon, Ray Allen and Fred Kolstrom who competed for the University in the 1950's and 60's. All are now members of the University of Vermont Hall of Fame. My high school coaches were Ted Hinckley, a U.V.M. graduate and Arthur Tudhope, likewise a Vermont graduate and Hall of Famer. Archie Post always had tremendous words of encouragement and inspiration for me as I was growing up.

Ed Kusiak, the current coach, has been at the University since 1969. His reputation and the reputation of the program are among the best in Vermont and throughout New England. The program at U.V.M. is not merely a men's program or a women's program, it is a combined Track and Field Program that works harmoniously together. Coach Kusiak was one of the first coaches to allow women to compete with his program. In fact, he was the first President of the New England's Women's College Track and Field Coaches Association.

Unlike most sports at the University of Vermont, the track and field program is made up mainly of Vermont residents. Over the past ten years, 72% of the student althletes in both the men and women's program are Vermont kids-student athletes who consistently have one of the highest grade point averages on campus. Coach Kusiak's philosophy has always been to recruit Vermont student athletes first and develop these athletes into top performers.

Having been a volunteer assistant coach with Coach Kusiak for ten years from 1988 to 1998, I am well aware that many of the track & field athletes stay in Vermont as educators (among a variety of top professional occupations). I suspect that at least half of the high school Track and Field coaches in Vermont are products of the U.V.M. program and had competed for Coach Kusiak. Think about it----for the $20,000 it takes to run the men's program with the women's program, the Vermont education system and the youth of our state are paid back many many times over. This is less than the same cost to bring in one out of state athlete on an athletic scholarship for one year who takes the money and is never heard from again.

Through conversations with certain individuals, I understand the manner on how certain sports were chosen for elimination. Rumors of lawsuits and large donations may have saved programs that were on the initial list. Coach Kusiak was never given a chance to defend his program.

As a lifelong Vermont resident and a taxpayer, I have been appalled by the disruptive upheaval at the University. I would rather have my dollars support a program where I know the athletes are wholesome hard working Vermont kids who will be retained in our educational system. As long as the track and field program is not on the on athletic map at U.V.M., I will never give a nickel or attend any events sponsored by the University of Vermont. I will also petition my legislators to limit funding and have my tax dollars put to use to help Vermonters.

As a trustee of U.V.M., I hope you have power to reconsider this action. Thank you for your time.

 

Sincerely,

Lawrence Kimball




I too was very saddened to hear about the planned termination of the men' s track program at UVM. I had the proud opportunity of running for four years to include co-captain in 1975. It was an experience that I will never forget, and I remain proud to wear my Vermont singlet track shirt at various road races to include the most recent Boston Marathon. I was at school when we were told that football was to be eliminated, and yes we did survive but I do feel we missed out at a full college experience. It should be noted that Miami also dropped college football at that time but later had the foresight to reinstate at a higher level of excellence. I hope the university can truly use the added monies that would have been spent on the track team. I know I will not be as excited as in previous years to donate money to UVM(1975, med school 1979).

I sincerely hope that the administration can rethink this decision. I do know that my current home state's proud state school in Charlottesville where my daughter hopes to matriculate in the fall threatened similar elimination of the so called lesser income sports, but later through other funds changed their minds. I feel very deeply for Ed Kusiak who has given his life for UVM track. He deserved better notice.

 

Sincerely yours,

Tom Harrington MD
3901 Oak Drive east
Chesapeake, Va
23321
Tharring23@aol.com




Sorry to hear the bad news. Its a tough blow but keep fighting, there's always a way to win. Part of being a member of this team, even in good times, is having to fight against tough odds.

Fight hard, train hard, study hard and above all do it with class. If you do that than no matter what happens you can hold your heads high.

Remember there's a lot of us pulling for guys, your not in this alone.

Good Luck!

 

Chris Jasparro

UVM Track and Field (1985-89)




As a 1960 graguate and a three year member of the spring outdoor track team I recall fondly the role of juggling studies and track .The two pursuits are quite compatable .Most institutions are suffering serious capital short falls but track does not seem to be an expensive sport to maintain.Track at UVM was an area were athletes from in state and outstate got to know each other very well and the marvelous distance runners of Vermont shared their training regime with out of staters.I hope a way can be found to sustain and encourage track for future generations to come.

 

Arthur Levison 1960




Dear Mr. Colodny,

The news of UVM dropping of the 5 Varsity Sports sure hit home hard with me. The dropping of these programs sure shows that UVM has sank to a very low level in the college world. These sports most likely have 75 to 100 student athletes and their GPA is above a 3.0, this should be the kind of student that UVM wants. It sure does not send the message to the world that cutting the sports and losing these students is good for the school. What cost savings are found in this ? Maybe $100,000, but the lost of 50 out of state students at the $30,000 plus a student sure looks like a fast lost, not to mention the poor in-state student who now will have to go out of Vermont to satisfy their sports needs . You do the math.

My background is that I ran track at Vermont and even held some records. I graduated as a Civil Engineering major and can tell you that I choose UVM for the engineering and the track program. The fellow runners on the team all had 3.0 averages and some even became doctors. The friendships from the sports people last a life time and the students will never have the chance. I have regularly given to the college and has had my company contribute, but not again. Why bother, you people can not manage the store now and it sure is showing. In the business world the heads would roll , I can feel for you as a interim president, but the lost of the "good" students will run deep for a long time. I was on campus when they dropped football, did it save money or just lower the standards more.

My daughter recently went off to college. UVM had her two requirements, her major and women's gymnastics. Upon review of the campus, great frankly, she was not impressed. She is now attending a college down south at a lower price than in-state tuition with a much better setting. The news of dropping the gymnastics programs came to no surprise to us, but I if read correctly your men's team had the highest GPA in the nation. It will be a shame they will have to leave the college early.

Why is the men's track going and keeping the women's? They use the same coaches and facilities, if you are going to cut cost get rid of both. I am aware of Title-9 and the gender issue and this may be your factor. The next sport to go might as well be cross country, any decent runner does track and might even enjoy it. The lack of a track team will greatly reduce the desire of a person to come to UVM to just do cross country. Then the next sport can be skiing or swimming to go. Get rid of all sports and just have a big party school. The past hockey team problem would be reason enough to axe that program, but that is a "money sport" and you would never cut one of those.

I hope you understand my position. This is one very upset UVM Track alumni. There is more to sports than winning and UVM better learn this. I would welcome your comments after you get done counting all the money saved by eliminating the sports.

 

Regards,

Richard Clark
Class of 1976

!08 Princeton Ave.
Feeding Hills,
MA 01030




Dear Team,

This is Matt Audibert, UVM Men's Track Captain '95 and '96 and proud supporter of UVM Track. Like everyone else, I was appalled to hear of the cuts and their timing. I have called Kus and will be sending correspondence to all of the officials at UVM that I can think of to make sure that they all know that this is unacceptable. This website you have is awesome. I'm live out in San Francisco and have been following UVM Track via the internet and this is making it much easier to keep up on all of the news. I received the letter from George and Jeff yesterday and hope that all of the alumni get it. I see the web page has a link for mailing list, it would be great if all of the alumni could post their email and regular addresses so we could mobilize together.

I've been away from UVM for 5 years but I feel as if I have had my current team taken away. As a native Vermonter who was able to represent my home state at UVM, I can't imagine Vermonters today not having that same opportunity. I'm sure that others feel this way as well. I will do everything I can to help get the program back. It's nice to see the dedication that you all have to the team and to Kus.

Long live UVM Track.

 

Matt Audibert
28 Clyde Street
San Francisco, CA 94107
415-369-9721




To whom it may concern,

My name is Knut Nystad. I used to participate in skiing, xc running and track for UVM from 1990 to 1994. I currently work as the Nordic Head Coach at the University of Denver. As you might know we have won the NCAA Championships the last two years.

This e-mail is in support of trying to keep the UVM's Track and Field Program. At the University of Denver we are going through the same problem as UVM. The administration is trying to find out if they can support 19 sport programs.

University of Vermont has to go to dramatic measures to allow the best teams to compete at a hight level, but in this case it does not seem like common sense has been applied.

Women's Track and Field will continue. The potential savings of cutting a men's team canot be significant. The training facilities have to remain the same, the busses to the meets still have to run, the coaches still have to coach. It would have been interesting to see how UVM sees it can save money by cutting the men's team. I also find it surprising that a university with the athletic field house being named after a male track star is cutting its track team.

I am glad to see that the students themselves are trying to save the team. UVM should be proud of that 25 men without any scholarship support are tryingto save a team that brings in a significant amount of tuition dollar (probably far more than the potential savings of cutting the program).

In order to save the team it is important that the track team figures out the following. Let us be honest, it burns down to a question of dollars and cents.

1 - The additional cost of running the men's team
2 - The loss of tuition dollars ifthe team is cut
3 - The current contribution/gifts in kind to the men's track team.
4 - The impact on contributions/givings if the men's team is cut.

By presenting a net present value of costs. contributions, tuition payments etc maybe someone will wake up and realize that there are only minimal, if any, savings that can be realized by cutting the men's team. The track team also needs to think about creative ways it can increase the donations to its program. Only taht can save the team at this point.

Philosophically speaking...UVM is a state school. Should it not provide an opportunity for male track participants?

The next thing is perhaps that they will re-name the field house.

Do not give up. Please feel free to forward this e-mail to the Interim President, The Vice President of Student Affairs and to Members of the Board of Trustees. Good luck in saving the team. Please feel free to respond to this e-mail.

 

Proud to be one of many Alumni of the Track Team.

Knut




I feel as you folks do having been Manager of the 1964 Track team.
UVM will no longer be on my donor list.

 

Gerald E. Miner, JR




Dear Chairman,

We are writing this letter to express our disappointment in the recent decision made by the University of Vermont to eliminate the Men's Track and Field program and the process by which this entire incident was handled by the University's administration.

First, we are appalled at the timing of this release. This was horribly inappropriate timing by the University. The stress and tragedy of the World Trade Center and Pentagon terrorist attacks was enough. The athletes of the sports that were cut absolutely did not need the news that they would not be able to compete in their sport at the University of Vermont the next year. It was insensitive timing, and a public apology should be issued to the athletes involved.

Second, we were disappointed in the decision given how well the team seems to have done against the criteria reported in the Burlington Free Press with which you made the decision. We think the Men's Track and Field team has done well on a number of these dimensions. For example, many of the current and former members of the Track and Field program would have attended other universities if there was no Track and Field program present at Vermont. In the last three years alone, the Men's Indoor Track and Field team has broken 7 school records while the Men's Outdoor Track and Field team has broken 5 school records. In breaking these records Vermont athletes have proven themselves to be not only some of the best in the conference but in all of New England as well. The Men's Track and Field team has produced numerous Conference Champions, New England Champions, as well as many other top finishers in those competitions. Last spring a University of Vermont athlete was named the most outstanding performer of the men's America East conference championship meet. In the past few years the Men's Track and Field team has also sent a number of athletes to the IC4A championships, which is an eastern competition where over 100 East Coast schools compete, and it is one step away from competition at the NCAA National Championship Meet. Academically, the Men's Track and Field program has some of the finest student-athletes on campus. In 1999, 76% of the Men's Track and Field team was on the America East academic honor roll. The Men's Track and Field team consistently has one of the top, often the highest, GPA out of all the varsity sports teams at the University. The only University of Vermont athlete to win both Verizon All-District and All-America first team academic honors was a Men's Track and Field member who graduated recently with an engineering degree and a school record in his event. These were just a few examples of the long list of success the Men's Track and Field team has enjoyed. The Men's Track and Field team is a low-cost program where the participants have had levels of both academic and athletic success that few teams at the University can claim.

As reported by the Burlington Free Press (September 14, 2001) the following criteria was used to make your decision:

  • The program's impact on enrollment
  • The competitive level of success
  • The level of interest generated
  • Potential for future growth
  • The level of financial resources
  • The program's contribution to academic quality

In an effort to understand the reasoning of the University, we would like to receive a copy of the document assessing the above criteria made on all sports at the University of Vermont.

We are disappointed in the decision. As alumni and former athletes, we feel that our alma mater should feel the same obligation and commitment to excellence that was expected of, and displayed by, us while enrolled as student-athletes and captains of the Men's Track and Field team.


Brett E. Schneider -
University of Texas at Austin
Master's Candidate
Men's Track and Field Co-Captain 1999

Thomas D. Johnson, EI -
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Master's Candidate
Men's Track and Field Co-Captain 1999




Can you advise me where the pros and cons of this desicion can be obtained?   I sincerely hope that this decision can be reversed. At the moment without facts at hand, I am less than proud of my dear Alma Mater.

 

Respectfully Submitted,

Riche Evans V '48
Captain of the UVM Track Team of 1948.




Bring Back Track & Field.

I was terribly disheartened to learn that UVM is making the decision to drop the Track & Field program.

It is most likely difficult for academics and committee members to quantify the benefits of having a Track & Field program at UVM but easy for them to quantify the savings by getting rid of it.

As a student athlete at UVM in the 80s the Track & Field program was an invaluable part of my life. It helped me train for the Olympics, World Championships and NCAA Championships in skiing. More importantly, it helped me find balance during the skiing off season so I could continue the necessary focus on my studies.

At a time when universities across the country are being criticized for their methods of addressing, or not addressing, excessive drinking it amazes me that UVM would cut a program that provides a healthy outlet for young people under the daily stresses of growing up, studying and preparing for the future.

I would like to lend my support in getting UVM to reconsider their decision to remove Track & Field from the athletic program.

 

Sincerely,

Bruce M. Likly
Principal
Kovak-Likly Communications




Today I received a most disappointing letter informing me that UVM has decided to eliminate the Men’s Track and Field team. For the first time ever I feel let down by the UVM leadership. I was a member of the UVM Track and Field team from 1985 through 1988. During those years as both a student and athlete the Track team provided me a home away from home. We were sisters and brothers who studied together, ran together and became a strong team together. I got so much confidence and support from being a part of that team. My experience at UVM would not have been as rich without this terrific group of people. The Men’s track team will truly be a great loss and Track and Field at UVM will not be the same, you have taken away a lot from the women as well. I feel a great loss knowing that my 2 year old who already loves to say "Ready, Set Go!!" and show me how fast he can run will not be able to follow his dreams to UVM if he follows in the footsteps of his Mom, Uncles, and Grandfather in pursuing Track and Field.

I hope that you will reconsider this decision, the sport of Track and Field has a long history at UVM and provides so much more than just another "athletic offering." It provides a chance to follow ones dreams to run for Vermont. It may not seem like much but my few years running for UVM has shaped my life. I was not a star athlete, I did OK but it was my fellow teammates, men and women, who pushed me to do my best on the track and in the classroom.

 

UVM Track and Field Team Alumna,

Catherine (Eads) Wein, Class of 1989




On Thursday September 13, 2001 our team was suddenly torn apart. Athletes were left stunted after of a week of national tragedy. To add to this, The Board of Trustees decision to cut the Men's Track and Field program was a shock to us all. The Track and Field team has a bond like no other. We are like a family; we train together, race together and support one another on the track and in the classroom. A community has been separated. The division between the teams is devastating. As student-athletes we devote our extra time to training and racing. It's a hard task that only a select few can accomplish. Being an athlete gives students a sense of pride, a focus and a chance to excel in something that we love. We spend countless hours training, our passion for running is something unexplainable. To know that part of our team will not be joining us on the line next year is heart breaking. To know that future Vermont men will not be able to run for their state university is unbelievable. As a Vermonter, I dreamed of coming to my state university to run. The chance to represent my state is an honor. This honor has now been destroyed for so many young men. Our hopes and dreams have been crushed by this universities decision to eliminate the Men's Track and Field program.

 

Sincerely,

Bethany Brodeur
Second year cross-country and track and field athlete.




The Day Al Gutterson Cried
Class of 1912 and Olympic Gold Medal Winner
Gutterson Field House

On Thursday September 13, 2001, I was notified that a decision was made by the administrative leaders at the University of Vermont that men's indoor and outdoor track and field was among the five sports to be eliminated from the UVM athletic program. This was a terrible week for America because of the terrorist attack on New York and Washington and a devastating week for the UVM Track and Field Family. With my Team already distraught about the attack on America the timing of this announcement was deplorable. This indeed was the day that Al Gutterson cried!

As a coach at the University of Vermont for 34 season I was not given the courtesy to defend my program before the committee that eventually decided our fate. The UVM track team was not a Men's team or a Women's team. It has always been coached as the University of Vermont Track and Field team. We ran with one heart and one soul and on September 13th one half of our heart and soul was eliminated. For many years I coached this team by myself with the addition of my first full time assistant coach in the mid eighties. By coaching 6 sports with one full time assistant coach many could say that UVM got their moneys worth.

I feel sorry for the University of Vermont. I feel sorry for the past and present members of the UVM Track and Field family. I feel sorry for all the young boys in the state of Vermont who compete in track and field and will never have the opportunity to compete for their state University. Over the years between 65-75 percent of my team members have been Vermonters and that was my recruiting philosophy for both my Men's and Women's teams.

To the president of the University of Vermont, the Board of Trustees, the Athletic Council and everyone who had input in this decision I would respectfully like to make this response.

On behalf of all the great young men who have proudly and honorably represented the University of Vermont in the great sport of Track and Field I would like to say what General Anthony Clement McAuliffe said to the surrounding German Army at the siege of Bastogne when asked for his surrender - "NUTS".


 

Ed Kusiak
Coach of Men's and Women's Cross Country
Coach of Men's and Women's Indoor Track and Field
Coach of Men's and Women's Outdoor Track and Field




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