Monday, March 12, 2007

New Letter from RUNOHIO

Another letter from Matt McGowan of RunOhio is below. And click here to read their March newsletter. And here is their article solely on Ohio University Track and Field.

Dear Running Community:

Your help is needed in stopping Ohio University and other universities in Ohio from dropping Track and Field. Track and Field is the most popular sport in the World and the number two/three sport in the U.S.A. and Ohio. Track and Field is also one of the most diverse sports in Ohio, the U.S.A. and the World.

The Mid American Conference (MAC) Universities have created a crisis in the Track and Field Community. In the past few years Ball State, Bowling Green, Toledo, Western Michigan, and former MAC school Marshall, have dropped Men's Track and Field. Ohio University plans to drop it next year.

Why is the MAC conference destroying the most popular sport in the World?

According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, Boy’s Track and Field has the second most schools offering the sport with 15,497 high schools sponsoring a team. It ranks third in participation with 533,985 student-athletes. In the state of Ohio, 728 high schools offer Boys’ Track and Field with a total of 24,219 student-athletes. This ranks boy’s Track and Field third in participation, with only 49 fewer student-athletes than baseball.

Track and Field is one of the most diverse athletic programs at the collegiate level. Many Track and Field teams have the second highest number of minorities participating among all intercollegiate athletic teams. According to the Ohio Board of Regents' 2006 Performance Report, "Ohio University is the state's least racially diverse college.” By cutting Men's Track and Field, the MAC universities have eliminated opportunities for both minorities and for all male track athletes. This is in spite of the fact that Track and Field is one of the most popular sports in both high school and around the world (in fact, more countries are represented in Track and Field than any other Olympic sport).

The Title IX web site states that, “Title IX governs the overall equity of treatment and opportunity in athletics while giving schools the flexibility to choose sports based upon student body interest, geographic influence, budget restraints, and gender ratio.” In 1999, Miami University dropped their indoor Men's Track and Field team to comply with the gender ratio issue. However, they kept the outdoor team because they realized the popularity and diversity that Track and Field offers.

How can universities destroy such a popular and diverse sport?

Whether you ran in high school, run for fitness, or are just concerned about the destruction of this popular sport, which provide opportunities for a diverse student body, please help Save Track and Field at Ohio and in the MAC.

What can you do? You can contact your University President, Athletic Director, and Board of Trustees to voice your concerns. But they do not seem to care.

Your tax dollars help to support your university and the elected officials in Ohio need to know about this crisis.

Write your US Congress and Senate members to voice your concern: and

Write to Governor Ted Strickland -
Write the Ohio Board of Regents -
Write the President of the Ohio Senate, Bill Harris -
Write the President of the Ohio House, Jon Husted -
Write the Ohio House Chair of Education - Arlene Setzer -
Write the Ranking Minority Member of Education - Kenneth Carano -
Write the Ohio House Chair of Higher Education - Shawn Webster -
Write the Ranking Minority Member of Higher Education - Peter Ujvagi -
Write the Ohio Senate Chair of Education - Joy Padgett -
Write the Ranking Minority Member of Education - Tom Roberts -

For more information on this crisis go to:

Hopefully, if we work together as a community, we can help Save Men's Track and Field at Ohio University and get the other Mid American Conference universities that dropped their programs to add Men's Track & Field back in the near future.


Matt McGowan
Editor/Publisher RUNOHIO

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