UNCW Chancellor Zito Sartarelli announced Monday that the track and field programs cut last year will be reinstated permanently.
Chancellor Sartarelli said in a statement that, "Today I am pleased to announce that the track and field program will continue to be offered for the long term, beyond the already-guaranteed 2015-2016 season."
Sartarelli continued saying:
For the past several months, UNCW has engaged in extensive dialogue both internally and with the community regarding potential options for solidifying the future of track and field. In examining what a continued program might look like, the goal remained steady: to provide the best possible student-athlete experience within our current portfolio and with the resources available.
Sartarelli says the track and field facilities are still in need of renovating, but feels confident that, alongside the community and with continued support from private donors, current and new, the school will find those funds.
Athletic Director Jimmy Bass released a memo Dec. 8, 2014 announcing the elimination of four track and field programs for the 2015-2016 academic year: Men's and Women's Outdoor Track and Field, Women's Indoor Track and Field, and Men's Cross Country.
Interim-Chancellor Bill Sederburg issued a "final decision" in January 2015 that confirmed the elimination of the four programs, but a month later, announced the school was giving the track and field supporters another chance to save the programs.
UNCW officials struck an agreement with "Save UNCW Track" that if the group raised 90 percent of its $250,000 goal by May 31, 2015, the programs will be safe for at least one more season. The second part of the agreement was to raise nearly $1 million to renovate the track and field complex by Feb. 2016.
"Save UNCW Track" met the initial goal and raised $255,781.59 to secure at least one more season for the school's track and field programs.
Roy Love, chairman of "Save UNCW Track", said the group will continue to raise funds, but won't be held to February's ultimatum.
Love says "Save UNCW Track" will probably evolve into a booster club following Monday's announcement.
The group has raised approximately $257,000 to date, according to Love.
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