After five months of many student-athletes, parents, alumni and donors fighting to continue the men’s track and field and cross country programs, Clemson announced today that the programs will continue to be sponsored following this school year.
The decision by the university and athletics department comes after five months since the university first announced the discontinuation of the mens’ programs. In a statement released by the athletics department, the reason given for the reversal of the decision is that “after revised financial projections show the impacts of COVID-19, while significant, did not harm the University in as drastic a way as anticipated.”
“Today, significant contributions from philanthropic fundraising, along with state and federal financial support and appropriations, have positioned the University and the Athletics Department to reconsider its decision.”
President Clements, who had been a focus of the #SaveClemsonXCTF movement, said that, “This is the right decision for our University, our Department of Athletics and, most importantly, for the young men and women who proudly wear the Clemson uniform.”
As for the concerns of Title IX, which was a reason listed in the initial discontinuation statement back in November, the university also announced in today’s statement that one or more women’s sports will be added in the “near future.”
It was also said in the statement that the university and attorneys reached an agreement to conduct a gender equity review that will allow a new gender equity plan to be formed. This plan is said to be completed no later than July 1, 2022.
It is unclear whether or not this agreement was made directly because of the lawsuits filed against Clemson University; however, the continued efforts by many have allowed the University and many student-athletes to have a place to participate in track and field and cross country for the future.