Track and field team to face 50 percent budget cut

WKU sprinter Vincent Wyatt runs the last leg in the men’s 4×400 meter relay during the Hilltopper Relay April 09, 2016 at Charles M. Rueter Track and Field Complex in Bowling Green, Ky. The Hilltoppers finished 6th with the time of 3:36.35. Shaba Athuman/HERALD

John Reecer

WKU’s track and field team will face a 50 percent budget cut and other athletic programs will face a five percent budget cut for the upcoming season. 

Head Coach Erik Jenkins informed his team of the cuts Tuesday evening. 

“Mr. Todd Stewart is my boss. This came down from the top of the Hill and I relayed that message to my team,” Jenkins told the Herald on Wednesday. “We have done well athletically and academically on this campus. This is out of my hands and is in the hands of the athletic department.” 

The track and field program has seen 39 of its athletes named as NCAA All-Americans since 2011. 

“Obviously we don’t feel like that’s right,” senior distance runner Aaron Stevens told the Herald on Wednesday. “We win conference championships every year, we are coming back with All-American athletes every year. We just didn’t feel like it was fair for us to get that big of a hit. No one from the administration has personally talked to anyone on the team as of today [Wednesday], anyway.”

As with every department across our campus, we are having to look at ways to reduce our budget,” director of athletic communications and media relations, Kyle Neaves, said in a statement. “I can offer no specifics beyond that at this point in time.”

The team is scheduled to participate in the Lenny Lyles/Clark Wood Invitational in Louisville and the Virginia Challenge this weekend.

The Herald reached out to athletic director Todd Stewart for comment and will update this story when we hear back. 

The Herald will update this story as more information becomes available.