Post Classifieds

Athletics reduced by three

By Jordan Holloway
On March 26, 2012

  • Athletic Director William Hayes and Chancellor Reaves tell the campus why the cuts had to be made in the athletic department, March 22. Photo by Marisha Beason




Men's indoor and outdoor track and field and golf teams have been cut by the Athletic Department to save approximately $232,000.

The change will eliminate one coach and 13 scholarship athletes. 

The revenue allocated for those sports will be used to fund the other athletic programs, said Kevin Manns, assistant director of Athletics for Media Relations.


A student body forum on March 21 was held to explain  Winston-Salem State's decision to eliminate the programs.

"We are very emotional and heartbroken right now," said Desmond Wiggan

Wiggan is a senior business management major from Charlotte and the captain of the men's track team.

Wiggan has been a member of the track and field since 2008.

Before the cuts, WSSU had 16 teams in the Athletic  Department. 

Under the Division II rules for membership,  a program needs at least 10 sports. 

Those sports include: Men's Basketball, Football, Baseball, Cross Country, Women's Basketball, Softball, Bowling and Women's track and field. 

WSSU still has more than the required number of sports, with 13 teams.

"Our budget can't handle 16 teams," said William Hayes the athletic director.

Manns, said that this decision has been in discussion for a while. 

"These are tough economic times and we're operating with too many sports in the department for our budget to handle," Manns said.

Manns also said that raising money to support the sports was an option. 

He said that delivering the news to the teams was very tough for Hayes to do.

"To be present in the meeting with the track and golf teams was extremely difficult," Manns said.

"That was something hard for him [Hayes] to do, it was gut-wrenching."

Knowing that these are tough times for the student athletes,  Manns said the department is working diligently to find new homes for the student-athletes.

"We have already been contacted by some schools who are interested in our athletes," Manns said.

One of the athletes affected by the news is freshman Michael Neal. 

Neal is an All-American sprinter. He said that if he would have known about this [the program cuts] sooner that he would have weighed other options.

He said that he knows that he can still go somewhere else and compete.

"As long as I go somewhere and run I will be happy for myself," Neal said. 

The track and field teams have to refocus  their efforts as they prepare for the first track meet at WSSU in more than 30 years, Manns said.

Wiggan said that event will be a very emotional one for the entire team.

Manns said that athletes on scholarship, may choose to stay and the Athletic Department will support them if they meet all of the requirements.   

He said the athletes will be supported through the next academic year as well. 

Many students voiced their opinions to Chancellor Reaves during the forum. 

He told the students that the move was about money. 

"You don't save money when you field as many teams as a Division I program," Reaves said during the forum.

Hayes agreed with the chancellor and said that the plan is to reallocate funds and focus efforts on the other sports.

"If we want to be a Division II national contender we have to focus our efforts on getting better at the things we do best," Hayes said during the forum.

Toward the end of the forum had, SGA President Austin Grier said to the students that there was a difference between agreeing and understanding. 

"You don't have to agree to understand what is going on," he said.

Some athletes expressed their disappointment. 

"For many of the athletes, who are sophomores and juniors, it is especially difficult," Wiggan said. 

Neal said he is worried about some of his teammates. 

"I thought about my teammates and what were some of them going to do if they couldn't find a school to run at,"Neal said.

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