WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – As the surge of support grows for several athletic programs at UNC-Wilmington, both current and former athletes are speaking up in an effort to keep their teams together.
Tori Sewell, a red-shirted Junior on the softball team, said she can't imagine her career ending so soon.
"I expected to walk onto that field for my Senior Day, with my coach, with my family," she said. "I didn't expect this."
A recent report recommended five athletic programs be cut from the UNCW budget.
Sewell said she's hopeful that administrators will see how important sports can be to the college experience. Regardless of the decision, she said her teammates are sticking together.
"There's nothing that could tear us apart," said Sewell.
Charlotte Dean, a 2011 graduate and alumna of the diving team, said she can't understand cutting programs and leaving more than a hundred students without a support system.
"They're losing a way of life," she said. "We don't have the services to help athletes with that and we obviously don't have the funding."
Several petitions and Facebook pages are generating attention online, including a few re-Tweets by Olympic swimmers Ryan Lochte and Dara Torres.
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