The men’s track and field and men’s soccer teams were officially cut in favor of men’s lacrosse, which moves up to varsity from varsity club level.
The men’s soccer team was told at a meeting at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, said Zac Brown, a junior goalkeeper on Richmond’s soccer team.
“Jim Miller and … our team administrator came in and told us … that the men’s soccer program is not going to exist after this season, and the Board of Trustees decided it [Friday],” Brown said.
Brown said he had been suspicious when his position coach said he hadn’t known what the meeting was about when Brown was doing rehab earlier in the day.
“Anger would be my first thing,” he said about his initial reaction to the announcement, “and disappointment in the school that I committed to and care a lot about. It kind of slapped our team in the face.
“It’s an emotional situation because [for] a lot of guys, this is what we do. This is why we came to school here, and this means a lot to us, but if anything, all it does is bring us closer together because they say you got to play every season like it’s your last, and we’re currently in a spot where we’re actually having to do that.”
The cuts were made as a result of Title IX, which requires an equal amount of money and scholarships allotted to men’s and women’s athletics on college campuses. With the athletics department electing to bring the men’s lacrosse team up to varsity level, the decision had to be made whether to add another women’s sport or cut one or more men’s sports.
The men’s soccer team was allotted eight scholarships, while the men’s track and field team had none. The men’s soccer team members on scholarship were told that their financial aid would remain until their graduation, Brown said.
The announcement came with the men’s soccer team set to face Virginia Military Institute in Robins Stadium at 7 p.m. Friday.
“If you care about men’s soccer, and if you know anyone on the team, go out tonight to the game and get as many people there as possible,” Brown said. “[We want solidarity] to show that people to care about this sport here.”
The track and field schedule for 2012-13 was also just released earlier Friday.
Initial reports of these moves were confirmed by assistant coaches of the men’s track and field program and multiple players on the men’s soccer team.
More information and quotes will be made available as they come.
Contact staff writer David Weissman at firstname.lastname@example.org