WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The University of North Carolina Wilmington has decided to discontinue Men's Indoor Track and Field at the beginning of the 2014-15 school year.
The move comes as a bit of a surprise after UNCW's Chancellor Gary Miller announced last June the school would not cut any sports programs.
In an email sent to the student body early Monday morning, Miller announced the decision to cut the sport so UNCW remains Title IX compliant. That is a federal law regarding gender equity.
"The undergraduate ratio at UNCW breaks down to about 60 percent female to 40 percent male." UNCW Director of Athletics Jimmy Bass said. "Our current ratio based on our scholarship distribution is about 56 (female) to 44 (male). Nationally if you're within three points above or below that the average you're in compliance and by cutting 38 countable men will bring us up closer to the 60/40 ratio."
The student-athletes currently on the Men's Indoor Track and Field team were also recruited for the Men's Outdoor Track and Field team, so their scholarships will continue to be honored.
"No student athletes are losing financial aid, no coaching staff members are losing their job, in essence what's happening is the men's track program is losing 12 days of practice." Bass said.
Miller reiterates it is critical for the community to support UNCW's student-athletes and their programs by attending events and participating in fundraising efforts.