The University of Richmond's Board of Trustees has officially crushed the hopes of men's soccer and track boosters who amassed millions in pledges in an effort to get their sports reinstated.
The trustees issued an unambiguous statement following their meetings at the end of last week, noting that despite "unfortunate misunderstandings" surrounding the decision to cut the programs in favor of men's lacrosse, they have no plans to reconsider.
Alumni supporters of soccer and track had raised nearly $3 million in pledges to help fund the sports and about 50 students rallied in favor of their reinstatement at a trustee's luncheon Dec. 6.
Now the soccer and track advocates have to decide whether to give up or keep pushing to save the sports. Scott Byrnes, a 1991 alumnus and former Spiders soccer midfielder, helped lead the pledge drive. He says he's torn over how to proceed.
"We'll take the week to do a little soul searching and figure out what our next step is," he says. "If we choose to move this forward, we're going to have to dig in and it's going to be a longer endeavor. Really, the most disappointing thing is that these current students can't wait and they're going to have to move on and continue their sports career elsewhere."