American University will not eliminate its men's and women's tennis programs and men's golf program until after the 2006 season, according to the school's chief of staff, David Taylor.
On Feb. 24, AU announced that it was going to eliminate the three programs following the current spring season, but during a meeting last week, school officials decided that the cuts will be delayed until after the 2006 season.
Part of the reason for the reprieve is that student-athletes, parents and coaches involved with the three programs argued that the original decision did not leave adequate time for the student-athletes to explore transfer opportunities. Many schools have transfer deadlines that expire during the spring, and most programs already have handed out available scholarships.
Athletes, coaches, parents and alumni also expressed anger that they were given no warning that the cuts were coming and therefore were unable to explore fundraising opportunities that might have made the programs more financially viable.
"More than anything else, it was conveyed to us that the timing of the decision threw everyone off guard," Taylor said. "We felt that extending the sports for another season would allow us to meet with the student-athletes and better explain why the decision was made."
-- Ivan Carter