CLEMSON — Five months after Clemson announced that it was cutting its men’s track and field and cross country programs at the end of this season, the school announced that it will continue to sponsor the two programs moving forward.
Clemson released the news Thursday afternoon in a press release. This was set to be Clemson’s final season of men’s track and field and cross country prior to the reversal.
In addition, Clemson will add one or more women’s varsity sports “in its continuing commitment to gender equity and to supporting our female students’ championship aspiration,” the release said.
“This is the right decision for our University, our Department of Athletics and, most importantly, for the young men and women who proudly wear the Clemson uniform,” Clemson President Jim Clements said. “I am thrilled that we are able to continue these men’s programs and I am excited for the new varsity opportunities we will soon be adding for our female student- athletes.”
A group of current Clemson athletes, former Clemson athletes, parents and alumni started working in November to try to save the programs after it was announced that they would be cut.
The group recently hired attorney Arthur Bryant, who argued that eliminating the men’s track and field and cross country programs would put the university in violation of Title IX.
Bryant threatened to file a lawsuit against Clemson University on behalf of Clemson male track athletes, while attorney Lori Bullock threatened to file a lawsuit on behalf of Clemson female track athletes, who were asking the university to provide more financial aid for female athletes.
Ultimately a settlement was reached, keeping lawsuits from being filed and ending with the men’s track and field and cross country programs being reinstated.
“I am appreciative of the support of the University and our collaboration that will allow us to not only maintain our current sports portfolio but add to it in the very near future,” Director of Athletics Dan Radakovich said. “As we communicated previously, the original decision was difficult, and we did what was necessary at the time to maintain compliance with gender equity while addressing our financial situation. I am excited about the future of Clemson Athletics and for our student-athletes.”