The University of Richmond's Board of Trustees says it's sticking by the decision to cut the men's track and soccer teams.
A men's lacrosse team will be implemented instead.
Supporters who want the track and soccer teams to stay rallied this week.
In a press release on Friday the board said it listened carefully but says research supports adding lacrosse.
Here's the statement:
The Board of Trustees affirms its September decision to implement a reconfiguration of the university's Division I athletics program that adds men's lacrosse and discontinues men's soccer and men's indoor and outdoor track. The decision was the result of a thoughtful and deliberate process that involved the highly inclusive development of an athletics strategic plan, extensive research by a knowledgeable and impartial task force, and substantial discussion in multiple board meetings.
The board appreciates and has listened carefully to the views that have been expressed since the decision was announced, and knows these views are all motivated by a shared commitment to ensuring the best for the university. There have also, however, been unfortunate misunderstandings of the basis for the decision. The reasons for the decision are straightforward: without placing additional demand on crucial resources of scholarships, positions in the class, operating funds or facilities, the reconfiguration permits the university to add a popular and growing sport and strengthen its other sports. The board's candid and thoughtful discussions today confirmed our confidence that trustees received complete and accurate information and appropriately took all relevant considerations into account in making the decision in September.
We recognize that this decision has been painful for the affected student-athletes and their families, and for the alumni and supporters of these programs. The board is certainly sympathetic and also grateful to those who stepped forward with offers of financial support for discontinued sports. The reconfiguration, however, was a strategic decision that reduces the number of sports while increasing the resources available to remaining teams. Increasing the number of sports, even with the generous philanthropy offered, would place imprudent demands on athletics and hinder the institution's ability to invest in other priorities. The university's careful stewardship of resources over many decades has helped ensure its excellence and generous financial aid, and this continued careful stewardship is all the more important in the current economic climate. The Richmond Promise clearly establishes institutional priorities for investment in the coming years to sustain and advance the university's excellence.
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