UMN Board of Regents Cuts Men's Indoor Track and Field

On Friday, the University of Minnesota Board of Regents approved a "revised resolution" (7 to 5) regarding the elimination of men's sports programs, ultimately saving the university an estimated $1.6 million. 

It was a bittersweet decision. 

While the resolution ultimately would go on to save the men's outdoor track and field team, reversing an earlier plan by the university, the Board of Regents wouldn't come away appeasing everyone.

In coming to that decision, the elimination of the men's indoor track team was also confirmed. 

The decision to retain men's outdoor track came after much opposition from the Minnesota track and field community, including notable track and field alumni Ben Blankenship, a 2016 Olympian, and NCAA champion Obsa Ali. But while that conversation ultimately led to the university to rethink its position, there was a cost, too. The university will keep the team with a potentially reduced roster size. Details regarding those roster numbers are still unclear. 

The original proposal, which was announced on Sept. 10, suggested cutting both men's indoor track and outdoor track, along with men's gymnastics and men's tennis.

According to the University of Minnesota Athletics Director Mark Coyle, the cuts to men's tennis, gymnastics, and indoor track & field will save the athletics department approximately $1.6 million dollars. 

Coyle has said the reasons for the cuts are to help the school become more Title IX compliant and will help lessen a revenue shortfall amid budget concerns due to the pandemic. 

Here was the reaction from the student-athletes that attended the board of regents meeting in person today:

The subtraction of outdoor track and field was presented to the board moments before the monthly meeting and led to a motion from Regent Darrin Rosha to postpone the vote given the lack of time to review the sudden revisions to the proposal that came up just before today's meeting. The motion failed 7-5. 

Regent Hsu said "The time and energy that has been spent drafting emails, letters and raising money," "The damage has been done to our Gopher family and it didn't have to be. This damage was self-inflicted. This will get worse if we continue on and approve this today. The blowback will be huge."

Here are some of the initial reactions to the cuts from current runners, alumni, and other concerned individuals: 

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