UNCG’s wrestling program will be eliminated as a part of UNCG intercollegiate athletics.
Kim Record, athletics director, met with the team’s coaches and student-athletes on Monday to inform them of the decision.
“The university’s Strategic Plan has a goal of increasing the competitiveness, accessibility and visibility of its intercollegiate athletics program. Over the past 18 months we have considered many strategies to accomplish this goal and it became obvious that painful decisions needed to be made,” said Record. “It pains us as a department that things have come to this point, but in today’s economic climate, tough decisions like this are having to be made around the nation. I would like to thank Jason (Loukides) and Daren (Burns) for all of the hard work they have put into the program, and we will do whatever is possible in order to help them further themselves professionally.”
One major objective of UNCG’s Strategic Plan is to elevate the profile of the athletic department. In order to accomplish this in the most efficient manner, limited resources must be invested wisely. The elimination of the wrestling program will result in a cost savings of approximately $308,000 annually.
Additionally, the 2010-11 state budget repealed eligibility for out-of-state students on full athletic scholarships to be classified as in-state for tuition purposes. For UNCG, this resulted in a loss of $750,000 in student-athlete scholarship funds.
“This decision demonstrates that every division at the university is doing its part to share the burden of cost-saving initiatives,” said Chancellor Linda P. Brady. “These decisions are especially painful when students are directly impacted.”
Two full-time coaches and 35 student-athletes will be directly affected by this decision. The contracts of the two coaches will be honored through June 30. The 23 student-athletes who receive scholarship funds will have their current scholarship levels honored if they choose to remain at UNCG to continue their education.
For those student-athletes who wish to continue their athletics pursuits elsewhere, the university will provide assistance to them. Per NCAA guidelines, student-athletes who transfer because their athletic programs have been eliminated will be able to compete immediately upon transferring.
For more information, view a FAQ sheet posted on the Athletics web site.