Looking at the criteria for cutting athletic programs:
(Based on the criteria reported in The Burlington Free Press September 14, 2001)
Read the "Framework for Change" Document, where these criteria were originally listed.
Programís impact on enrollment:
All of the men who compete on the Track team would not be at UVM if there were not a Track Team also. That is at least 25 students who are not on scholarship that would be going to other schools. Also with Track and Field gone the University will not be able to entice serious distance runners to come to the University. Possibly the school will be able to fill the Cross Country roster with skiers who use the fall sport to prepare for their winter campaign, but that would really be cheapening the existence of that sport. Without Track and Field, Cross Country simply cannot exist on a competitive level so the University effectively cut out the heart of that program as well.
The Competitive Level of Success:
†One of the greatest things about Track and Field is that you can have winners without having the team win as a whole. With 21 individual events within a meet it is difficult to field a large enough team to win a meet as a whole even when there are scholarships provided. But as far as individual showcases of success UVM has been second to none. In the past 3 years the Menís Indoor Team has broken 7 school records, 9 if you count people bettering their own marks, many of these records were close to 20 years old. Looking to outdoor track, 5 school records have been broken. In breaking these records UVM athletes have proven themselves to be not only some of the best in the conference but in New England as well. We have produced numerous Conference Champions, New England Champions, as well as many other top finishes in these competitions. Last spring a UVM athlete was named the most outstanding performer of the Conference Championship meet. In the past few years the Menís team has also sent a number of athletes to the IC4A championships, which is an Eastern Competition where over 100 East Coast schools compete, it is one step away from competition at the National Championship Meet. Even though as teams there have not been championships, we have been champions and have garnered respect from our competitors.
Level of interest generated:
This is a difficult thing to measure, particularly because UVM has not hosted a home track meet for 5 years. With this in mind and taking into account the amount of coverage track and field receives in the media it is unfair to say that there is no interest in the sport, people simply arenít given the opportunity. There is certainly an interest within the UVM community however, and Track and Field remains one of the most popular High School sports in the state.
Potential for Future Growth:
The rosters ebb and flow with the times but there has always been a future for UVM Track and Field. Particularly with our coaches able to point to specific accomplishments of athletes, like breaking records, winning championships, and qualifying for elite meets, recruiting athletes gets easier and we get better athletes. At the announcement of the removal of the team I counted no less than ten First year students, many of whom were Vermont High School Champions and have great potential.
Level of financial resources:
The menís team does not particularly use a lot of financial resources, especially when there is a counterpart womenís team. We travel on the same busses which are going to the same meets, we use the same facilities, with roughly 12 different competitions during the combined seasons most of these are a dayís drive away so we do not spend the night in hotels or require large amounts of meal money. If there is a womenís program run concurrently it is possible to run a menís program for well under $10,000, which is less than the University would loose from the tuition of one in-state track and field athlete.
The Programís Contribution to Academic Quality:
UVM Track and Field athletes are some of the finest student athletes on campus. This is partially because we are not using college as a stepping-stone to become professional athletes, but rather we are using the competition as an expression of our beings and a period of growth, maturation and balance in our lives. The Track and Field team had a very high percentage of itís athletes garner recognition as students on the America East Academic Honor Roll, 3.0+ GPA, as well as making the Commissioners Honor Roll 3.5 + GPA. Jake Galbreath a member of the team was the only UVM athlete to win both Verizon All-District and All-America First team academic honors, and 8 athletes had GPAís over 3.2 last spring with 6 athletes over 3.6. In looking at the impact on Cross Country again, last fall the Menís and Womenís teams received national honors by having the 34th ranked Cross Country team in the nation by GPAs. This is in a sport where there are hundreds of teams competing, and all of the athletes on that team run Track and Field.††