SHERMAN, Texas – Austin College will discontinue its varsity cross country/distance track program at the end of the current academic year, the College announced today.
"Upon analysis of all the data, it became apparent that the College is, in effect, carrying a program that has repeatedly fallen short of minimal participation requirements for NCAA Division III sports sponsorship at a varsity sport level," said Austin College President Steven O'Day. "While this reality is disappointing, we owe it to the College and our students to dedicate our resources in the best ways possible."
In a continuous review of programs across all divisions of the college, it was determined that this program, much like golf and track & field of years ago, has proven to be unsustainable.
"We are proud of our effort to try something new six years ago, our resolve to give it the opportunity to grow, and our courage to sunset it when it proved to be unsustainable," said Director of Athletics David Norman. "If, in the future, students wish to participate in this sport activity, they will be encouraged to apply for club status like other student clubs and organizations at Austin College."
Austin College, a private national liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas, has earned a reputation for excellence in academic preparation, international study, pre-professional foundations, leadership development, committed faculty, and hands-on, adventurous learning opportunities. One of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope's influential book Colleges That Change Lives, Austin College boasts a welcoming community that embraces diversity and individuality, with more than 50 percent of students identifying as persons of color. The residential student body of approximately 1,300 students and more than 100 expert faculty members allow a 13:1 student-faculty ratio and personalized attention. Related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA), Austin College cultivates an inclusive atmosphere that supports students' faith journeys regardless of religious tradition. The College, founded in 1849, is the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original name and charter.