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NCAA DIII: The Rules Austin College is Breaking by Cutting the Distance Track/XC Coach and Team

2 Sports

The NCAA DIII manual clarifies that cross country and outdoor track are counted as 2 separate sports. Why has the college said they count as 1 sport? Moreover, with distance track being a type of track tailored specifically to long distances, the participation numbers needed for distance track are the same as the ones needed for cross country. The magic number is 5. Men’s and women’s teams both average 5+ participants annually.

No Pursuit of Waiver

Waivers are available specifically for sports programs DIII colleges believe are not meeting/will not meet sponsorship participation requirements. Why hasn’t Austin College pursued a waiver on behalf of the Distance Track/XC coach and team? The program meets sponsorship requirements; as long as the program is reported to the NCAA correctly as a dual cross country and long-distance track option, numbers are no problem. However, granted the college were to assume, incorrectly, that the program doesn’t meet minimum standards, why isn’t it pursuing waiver options?

Diversity & Inclusivity Designee

There’s a NCAA regulation mandating DIII colleges have an Athletics Diversity and Inclusivity Designee to be a “primary contact … for diversity[-] and inclusion-related information.” Austin College either doesn’t have one or hasn’t made the appropriate designee’s identity publicly and widely known and available. Who is the Austin College Athletics Diversity and Inclusivity Designee? If one exists, when was he or she appointed, and where is the public announcement/ID?

Opportunities for People of Color in Sport

  Though DIII athletic recruits don’t receive athletic scholarships, they DO receive once-in-a-lifetime benefits from having a Distance Track/XC coach, particularly the successful coach of color in charge of the program right now. The Distance Track/XC program brings in high percentages of people of color, many of whom are from low-income families. These kids, who often haven’t been to a college before, are personally contacted by our coach of color, brought to visit the campus on a fully funded trip (frequently with their parents accompanying them), and introduced to college life for the first time. Why is the college throwing away opportunities for people of color in sport?

NCAA DIII Principles

In the NCAA manual, 3 principles, among others, are listed as mandatory for DIII colleges and universities: Governing the Economy of Athletics Program Operation, Nondiscrimination, and Diversity within Governance Structures. How does cutting the running coach and team affect the principles? Needless to say, the cut violates all three.

Collegiate Compliance

Does Austin College adhere to the policies listed in the DIII NCAA sports manual? If so, why are the Distance Track/XC coach and team being cut?