Coalition to Save JMU Sports provides comment on secret meetings leading to dropping of 10 sports

By Jennifer Chapman | Dec. 15, 2006, 6:02 p.m. (ET)

Athletes Turn Down Scholarships From Other Universities,Unaware That Their Sport Was About To Be Eliminated

The James Madison University ( Harrisonburg, VA ) Board of Visitors announced the elimination of ten athletic programs (7 men's / 3 women's) effective July 1, 2007.

The main reason the JMU Board of Visitors provided for the athletic program cuts was to bring JMU into compliance with Title IX. Ironically, the law that was passed to afford women athletes equal opportunity is now being turned around and used against three women's athletic teams at James Madison University.

JMU conducted the critical decision making process in secret for 18 months, not allowing input from students, alumni, on-campus sports councils, or outside organizations that may have offered other viable solutions. Since the announcement was made on September 29, 2006, parents, students, athletes and alumni have demanded that the JMU Board of Visitors reconsider this decision. Thus far, JMU has ignored their pleas to re-instate the athletic programs, or explore other solutions.

JMU did not disclose that it was considering the cuts when recruiting 2006 freshmen. Recruits were told there were no plans for team eliminations and these young people turned down opportunities and scholarships to compete at other institutions.

The Coalition To Save JMU Sports is made up of athletes, students, alumni, parents and fans have asked JMU to reconsider the decision to eliminate the ten athletic programs.

Short video interviews of JMU athletes are available on the website