HOW YOU CAN HELP
Tell Austin College you support our coach and team because you value diversity and inclusivity, and sign our petition.
CALL, SEND LETTERS, EMAIL
President Steven O’Day’s emails, and his assistant’s email
Athletic Director David Norman’s email
Austin College’s mailing address: 900 N Grand Ave, Sherman, TX, 75090
Phone numbers for President Steven O’Day and Athletic Director David Norman
President Steven O’Day: (903) 813-3001
Athletic Director David Norman: (903) 813-2499
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is Distance Track/Xc the college's most inexpensive sport?
Fun facts about finances for athletic programs at the college:
No Austin College sports are revenue-producing (with the college competing athletically at the Division III level in NCAA sports).
Revenues are equal to expenses (the sports are all cash-neutral, neither cash-negative nor cash-positive).
Distance Track/XC is the least expensive program and the easiest one to maintain financially, in addition to having the highest percentage of people of color on both the men's and women's teams annually out of any sport (54%).
How many people Does Cutting the Distance Track/XC Coach and team affect?
The Distance Track/XC coach (the only coach of color at the college in charge of a program by himself) and team represent the best athletics program the college can keep financially and, most importantly, ethically and legally. Especially since Division III (DIII) colleges and universities serve the largest pool of student-athlete recruits (more athletes than the DI or DII levels); the biggest possible number of recruits of color are affected by Austin College's discriminatory cut of its running program. However, keeping Distance Track/XC does not mean other sports programs would have to be cut; the college simply must explore unexplored options and budget more efficiently (e.g., doing research to obtain the most affordable utilities services and collegiate transport, etc.).
How Many People are on the team, anyway?
It's important to note that a program's history is not one year, but rather all of the years the program has been in operation. While the number of athletes on the team will fluctuate yearly, the average number of people on the team is the middle point between the highest and lowest participation numbers (every season is taken into account in an accurate review). For Distance Track/XC, during any given year, whether the team is at a high or a low point, 54% of the men's and women's teams are people of color.
Consequently, the 54% opportunity ratio applies at all times to the entire pool of incoming recruits. The people of color in the pool of recruits, the largest pool a Division level can have (and, therefore, the largest number of recruits of color a school in the NCAA can serve), has the 54% chance of being on the men's or women's running teams at Austin College.
why is running so important? And why is it important at austin college?
Running is a reliable way for people of color to be recruited for/come to/gain entry to college, and to compete in the Olympics. Running doesn't require expensive equipment; anyone can run, without the need for special gear or costly club-level teams in high school to be recruited for college competition. Running is the most egalitarian, affordable, accessible sport available, and it's critical for diversity and inclusion. If it weren't, Brown University wouldn't have had to reverse its cut of the track program, and Clemson University wouldn't be facing a discrimination lawsuit right now owing to its cut of the collegiate track program. Austin College needs its Distance Track/XC coach and program. Without it, the college, instead of valuing people of color, is taking away their opportunity in sport...and, even worse, for a marginal profit.
Russell Dinkins on Why Track Programs are Being Cut, and Austin College's Flawed Financial Reasoning
"In terms of Title IX [NCAA regulations], [colleges] are looking at it as [two] sports that they can cut for the price of one. If they are going to do that, then they also have to look at it as [two] sports from a financial standpoint. And when you break it up by sport— it doesn’t lose ... much money. Also, in terms of coaches['] compensation, the cross-country coach is the distance coach for track—indoor and[/or] outdoor ... the indoor track coach is the coach for outdoor track. So, instead of having a distinct coaching staff for each of those sports, they end up only having [one] paid coach ... [they] are actually saving a lot of money [with Distance Track/XC]. [They] are offering [at least two] sports and getting [at least two] sports on the cheap."
yearly # women on team: 5+
yearly # men on team: 6+
Does Distance Track/XC meet NCAA DIII sponsorship requirements? Yes.
Look at the required # of participants in cross country at the Division III level of competition in the NCAA, as listed in our above slideshow. The average # of women on the team per year is 5+; the average # of men on the team per year is 6+ (rates that can be verified in the statistics document on the "Blog" tab). For NCAA sponsorship, Austin College needs 5 cross country runners (and distance track, being track run specifically for long-distance events, is essentially track tailored to long distances). The men's and women's teams' average participation rates hit the golden 5. This sport meets NCAA sponsorship requirements.