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Central Michigan discontinues men's track and field program

As part of "strategic budget planning" amid the pandemic, CMU athletics has made some program changes.

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. — Central Michigan University's men's track and field program has been discontinued, according the the university's Athletic Director Michael Alford Tuesday. 

The decision to end the program, effective immediately, was difficult, Alford said, and was made amid looming university-wide budget cuts. 

“We did not make this decision lightly, but we are facing a new financial reality due to enrollment challenges and now COVID-19,” Alford said in a press release.

“Hundreds of students have participated in this longstanding, successful program at Central Michigan, and we know this will impact them — and supporters of this program — greatly.”

The end of the program directly impacts 36 student-athletes along with two students that ran cross country. Two full-time assistant positions also are being eliminated, the press release explained.

Scholarships for current men's track and field student-athletes — including scholarships awarded to new students beginning in fall 2020 — will be honored for the duration of their CMU academic careers. 

Student-athletes who would like to join another institution's roster will be released without penalty and are free to transfer immediately, the press release continued.

“My heart goes out to these student-athletes; I know this is incredibly difficult for them,” Alford said. “We hope they continue their academic journeys at Central Michigan, but also wish them the best if they’re able to continue athletic pursuits elsewhere.”

Despite ending track and field, Central Michigan remains NCAA Division 1 with 16 athletic teams: Men’s and women’s basketball, football, women’s soccer, women’s golf, baseball, softball, men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, women’s track and field, gymnastics, women’s lacrosse, softball, volleyball and wrestling.

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