Last semester, the MU Men’s Track & Field and Cross-Country teams were eliminated. In pursuit of re-establishing these programs, the Coalition to Rescue Our Sports (CROS) formed. They, along with supporters, tried in many ways to get the attention of Millersville University President Dr. Francine McNairy and Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Breaux and persuade them to reinstate the successful teams.
CROS has not lost momentum this semester. On October 12, 2012, supporters erected crosses that read “Resurrect XC” and began a widespread sidewalk chalk campaign with messages such as “Breaux-kenDreams,” and “No Homecoming for Men’s XC or Track.”
However, some found that their messages were gone by the next day during the parade. Speculation deducts that these messages were deliberately scrubbed off as an attempt to hide them from the public during Homecoming activities. Supporters believe this removal proves that Dr. McNairy and Dr.Breaux have something to hide when it comes to the reasoning behind the elimination of the Men’s Track & Field and Cross-Country teams.
Senior CROS member Bob Vasile, class of 1983 and former MU cross-country runner organized this campaign. On behalf of CROS, Vasile says, “We feel that at some point, Dr. Breaux needs to explain why all of her justifications for cutting these programs have been proven to be untrue. All we are doing is looking for honest answers.”
Reasons that the administration has given as to why the teams were eliminated include $200,000 savings, Title IX compliance, and recommendations from the Oliver & Lindemann Report and Blue Ribbon Task Force, as well as Governor Corbett’s tax cuts.
However, according to Vasile, “It has been proven many times over that the stated reasons are false.”
Vasile also stated, “President McNairy directly affected the lives of these students and never once publicly acknowledged that the programs were cut. She didn’t even offer an apology.”
It is clear that CROS and other supporters want answers, but they primarily want their teams back. With new administration soon to come, they are hoping to achieve just that.
“We are optimistic going forward,” said Vasile. “These programs are a minimal cost to the University. The women’s programs already share the same coach and transportation. We believe a new administration will see the obvious.”