CMU defends decision to cut men’s track, says no racial bias
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. (AP) — Central Michigan University is defending its decision to eliminate the men’s track team, saying it was a financial move and not a discriminatory step.
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights informed CMU this week that it had received a complaint. The government said it will remain neutral while collecting and analyzing evidence.
CMU said in 2020 that it was dropping the track team. It subsequently added a men’s golf team.
The 2019-20 track team had 30 athletes, including six who were Black or identified as multi-racial, CMU said.
“I firmly believe the investigation will find no evidence to support claims of racial discrimination, which are inaccurate and misleading,” President Bob Davies said.
CMU said the track team cost $1 million a year while golf will be half that amount, the Morning Sun reported.
“The decision to eliminate any team always comes as a last resort and difficult for all individuals involved,” Davies said.
CMU is struggling to attract students. Enrollment was down 45% last fall to 15,465 compared to 2010, The Detroit News reported.