Bemidji State to drop men’s indoor and outdoor track and field programs
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Bemidji State to drop men’s indoor and outdoor track and field programs
BEMIDJI, Minn. -- Bemidji State University will discontinue its men’s indoor and outdoor track and field varsity intercollegiate athletic programs, effective at the end of the 2010-11 academic year.

The elimination of the programs came today as BSU President Dr. Richard Hanson unveiled the University’s plan to address an expected $5 million shortfall for the biennium (2011-2012 and 2012-13), which can directly attributed to the economic challenges the State of Minnesota is facing with its $6.25 billion budget deficit.

“Any time decisions like these have to be made, it is tough on our student-athletes and entire Athletic Department,” said BSU Director of Athletics Dr. Rick Goeb. “Especially when our student-athletes are such outstanding role models and representatives of our University.  But in the light of the nation-wide financial crisis, the state’s budget deficit, the magnitude of the estimated reduction to University’s funding allocations, program cuts are unavoidable.”

“This is not an isolated case,” added Goeb. “Significant budget challenges are being felt campus-wide making dramatic changes necessary for the entire University and state-wide at other MnSCU institutions.”

In October of 2008, Goeb unveiled a proposal for reorganizing the Department of Athletics designed to meet a 2007 directive from then-BSU President Dr. Jon Quistgaard to reduce the department’s budget by $750,000. That proposal included an option to discontinue men’s indoor and outdoor track and field. However, in December of 2008, Quistgaard announced the programs would be allowed to continue for at least one more year on the condition that a set of established goals were met regarding roster management and fundraising.

Dr. Hanson’s new recalibration plan allows the department of athletics to reduce its scope and improve opportunities for women in athletics.

Current members of the BSU men’s track and field teams will have the opportunity to complete the 2010-11 indoor and outdoor competition seasons.  According to NCAA rules, student-athletes that choose to transfer to another institution to continue their athletic careers will be released by BSU and will be eligible to compete as early as next season, provided that they are accepted, have athletic eligibility remaining and are academically eligible to compete. Athletic scholarships will be honored for current and incoming student-athletes who choose to stay at BSU to fulfill their degree requirements.

With today’s announcement, Bemidji State University will sponsor 15 varsity intercollegiate sports. BSU will offer NCAA Division I men’s and women’s ice hockey and 13 sports at the NCAA Division II level. BSU’s Division II sport offerings for men will include football, basketball, golf and baseball, while its Division II women’s sports will be volleyball, basketball, soccer, cross country, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, softball, tennis and golf.

Bemidji State University, a member of the NSIC and Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA), occupies a beautiful lakeside campus in northern Minnesota’s wooded lake district. Enrolling approximately 5,000 students annually, the University offers undergraduate majors and graduate programs encompassing the arts, sciences and select professional programs.  The University is a member of the Minnesota State College and Universities System (MnSCU) and embraces the signature themes include environmental stewardship, civic engagement and global/multicultural understanding.

The University’s complete recalibration plan is available at BSU Today at: http://www.bemidjistate.edu/bsutoday/

For more information about Bemidji State, visit our website at: http://www.bemidjistate.edu.

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