After 27 years as a varsity sport at Cabrini, the athletic department has decided to discontinue the men’s and women’s track and field team. The decision comes as a result of a number of factors, including a diminishing number of participants, the lack of adequate facilities, and the fact that the Colonial States Athletic Conference does not offer a track and field championship.
“Athletic departments across the country never enjoy making these decisions. But unfortunately, it is happening because this is not an isolated situation only occurring at Cabrini,” Brian Beacham, director of sports information, said in an e-mail interview.
Beacham went on to explain that many local colleges that have also terminated some of their varsity sports programs in recent years, including opponents of Cabrini’s teams. Moravian College got rid of the men’s and women’s lacrosse program, and Philadelphia Biblical University terminated their field hockey program. Schools like Wheaton College and Massachusetts Institute of Technology each terminated five sports teams or more.
The recent news raises questions over the fate of students who came to Cabrini for the team, and for incoming students who were interested in joining.
“Certainly there are concerns for those that have been affected by this decision. It is the athletic department’s hope that the current track and field student-athletes will return to Cabrini to compete for the men and women’s cross country teams, pursue the opportunity to be a part of another athletic program or simply remain at the college to continue progressing towards completion of an undergraduate degree,” Beacham said.
Without the track and field teams, the number of varsity teams at Cabrini will decrease from 18 to 16. Many students question whether this will open up room for other sports clubs to form varsity teams, like the popular Baseball Club. Beacham acknowledged that there are currently no plans to add another, but stressed that the athletic department was no opposed to the idea.
“The athletic department is always open to exploring the possibility of adding more varsity sports. However, it is imperative to have the appropriate facilities, funding and resources to successfully operate a Division III athletic program,” Beacham said.