Clemson reversal on men's track 'a great day for track and field' - Mark Elliott

By April 23, 2021
Director of Athletics at Clemson University Mark Elliott and Assistant Coach Lennox Graham Director of Athletics at Clemson University Mark Elliott and Assistant Coach Lennox Graham

Mark Elliott, the Director of Track and Field and Cross Country at Clemson said there is an all-around excitement in response to the news that the university will no longer discontinue its men’s track and cross country programme.

Clemson University announced yesterday that it was reversing its initial decision in November 2020, to end the men’s programme after what they said was months of discussion with student-athletes, their representatives, families, supporters and others, Clemson University and the Department of Athletics.

“In addition, Clemson Athletics will add one or more women’s varsity sports in its continuing commitment to gender equity and to supporting our female students’ championship aspirations. A decision on which sport(s) to be added will be made in the near future,” Clemson said in a statement yesterday.

The news was music to the ears of Elliott, his coaching staff that includes Assistant Coach Lennox Graham, and student athletes.

“They did reverse their decision and all of us are excited about it, coaches, parents, athletes, all those who had stepped up to support the programme,” Elliott told Sportsmax.TV this morning.

“It was a great day for Clemson’s track and field and for track and field on a whole.”

Clemson is home to a number of Caribbean athletes, mostly Jamaican, who had taken up scholarships at the University. Among them are athletes like Fabian Hewitt, LaFrenz Campbell, Rayon Holmes, Zico Campbell and Rojae Stona.

Clemson had committed to honouring those scholarships but some of them might have been considering transfers to other schools.

Elliott, who has been at Clemson since 2013, believes that this should no longer be an issue as the process of transferring would not start until the end of the season.

The news was also welcomed by school president Jim Clements.

“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,” said Clements. “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.”

Last November, Clemson Athletics Director Dan Radakovich shocked the NCAA track and field community by announcing that the school would ending their men’s track programme at the end of the 2020/21 season citing a projected shortfall in revenues of US$25 million.

He said by ending the programme, the money saved would be reinvested into other athletic department initiatives, including the remaining Olympic sports and will help to provide additional financial stability moving forward.

 

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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