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Elimination of program surprises CMU track athlete, alumni

Chippewas announce the men's program has been cut
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Posted at 4:28 PM, May 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-19 16:39:16-04
CMU drops men's track and field

Colleges and Universities have been cutting payroll and dropping sports to save money amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Central Michigan did the same Tuesday announcing that it is discontinuing men's track and field.

"I honestly had been staying positive," Alex Rose a MAC champion in the discuss in 2012 at CMU said. "I didn't think about Central cutting anything."

The news hits hard for Rose who was an Olympian in 2016 and is getting ready for the Tokyo games that have been moved to 2021.

"It's a place where I met groomsmen for my wedding, best friends that I will have for the rest of my life and my wife," Rose said of Central Michigan. "CMU Track and Field is the reason that I am where I am today. I would not be a soon to be two-time Olympian without CMU's track and field program."

Freshman Grady Lycan from Lawton was seventh at the MAC indoor championships this season in the Heptathlon.

"It is kind of different because we haven't had our outdoor season right now," Lycan said. "So we have been home and not like practicing and everything."

For 36 the athletes on the team their scholarships will be honored for the remainder of their academic career at CMU or they can transfer to another school free of penalty.

"We kind of have a group chat of our team and obviously it just happened a little while ago so nobody really knows yet," Lycan said. "I know some people are planning on staying, there is a club track team and thinking of running for the club team or thinking of transferring. Personally I have no idea yet."

CMU track coach Jenny Swieton said in a statement released by the University that this is tough for everyone involved.

"This is a very difficult day for our program and my heart is breaking for our men," Swieton said in the statement. "I will do everything in my power to help those who want to continue their athletic careers find a place to compete. This will be a difficult transition for all our track and field student-athletes, and I will help support them however I can."

"I just really feel for everybody affected by this," Rose said. "I can't imagine being an athlete and one having your season ruined from COVID-19 and now two the entire program is just going to be eliminated, it has got to be just devastating."

The move leaves the Chippewas with 16 sports which is the minimum to maintain division one status.