The 2020-21 academic year will be the last for the men’s cross country and track and field teams at Clemson University.
The ACC university in South Carolina announced Thursday that it will discontinue its men’s cross country, indoor track and outdoor track programs effective June 2021.
“This difficult decision is a result of an exhaustive examination of our athletics department over the past several months,” Clemson director of athletics Dan Radakovich said in a letter posted on the athletics website. “After careful analysis, we concluded that discontinuing our men’s track and field program is in the best long-term interest of Clemson Athletics.
“In our long-term planning, we looked at the changing demographics of the Clemson. Of Clemson’s men’s sports, only men’s track and field and cross country could provide the department with both substantial cost savings as well as the ability for long-term Title IX compliance.”
Following the cuts, Clemson will sponsor 16 total varsity sports. The university said it will honor all coaches contracts through their terms and all scholarships through the student-athletes’ undergraduate years. Men’s track currently has 26 student-athletes at least on partial scholarship, as well as 25 walk-ons.
The university has projected a resource shortfall of $25 million this fiscal year, while Radakovich expects to save more than $2 million per year from the cuts. He said the savings “will be reinvested into other athletic department initiatives, including our remaining Olympic sports and will help to provide additional financial stability moving forward.”
Clemson men’s track and field won 23 combined ACC team championships, 16 individual NCAA champions and 22 Olympians since the program formed in 1953.