University Of Akron Cutting Men's XC Program

(Image courtesy of @ZipsTFCC & J. Walters) 

University of Akron Director of Athletics, Larry Williams announced on Thursday that men's cross country will be among three teams eliminated by the school at the end of the current academic year. 

Citing budget reductions to the Zips athletics programs, Williams indicated that cutting men's cross country, along with men's golf and women's tennis, will save a vast amount of money in relation to scholarships, general operations and salary reductions for a selection of coaches and other staff members. 

"The elimination of these sports, along with salary reductions for select coaches, staff position eliminations, scholarship and operating reductions will total approximately 4.4 million," Williams expressed. 

Mr. Williams acknowledged the disappointment that such a decision will cause, but maintained that it was a necessary action to ensure the realignment of resources for further investment in academic programs and improved facilities. 

Student-athletes directly impacted by the decision were notified via video conference this morning by Mr. Williams and it was confirmed that if they opt to transfer elsewhere, they'll be supported by the university throughout that process. 

"We understand that some {student-athletes} may choose to leave Akron to continue in their sport at another university, and we have committed to offering them our full support throughout that process," said Williams. 

MileSplit reached out to former Brunswick standout and current Zips cross country representative, Andre Bollam-Godbott for his reaction to the news. 

"Today, I am deeply disappointed in the University of Akron's decision to cut the men's cross-country team. This came as a surprise, as we did not receive any news until early this morning."

"I slept-in today and first learned of the news through my team group chat. At first, I thought it was a joke, as our team likes to joke-around a lot, but this turned out to be a tough reality."

"I was in complete disbelief and overwhelmed with many emotions all at once. It's very difficult to process this right now and to clear my mind."

"It's just devastating, as I've been using this time as an opportunity to train hard and progress so I would be prepared for a strong cross country season this fall. Right now, I'm not sure what the future holds, but I know I will keep running." 

-- Andre Bollam-Godbott 

In what will go down as their final team-based competition, the Akron men's squad placed eighth at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional. Prior to that, they pocketed a fourth place standing at the Mid-American Conference (MAC) Championships

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