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NEWS: Saint Leo to Cut Men's & Women's XC & Track at End of Spring Semester

Earlier this week, Saint Leo University, a Division Two school located in Florida, announced that they will be "discontinue" their men's and women's cross country and track and field teams at the conclusion of the current spring semester.

Men's and women's swimming are also being eliminated.

The official press release stated the following...

"For the past two decades, the university has provided a championship experience for our sports," said Fran Reidy, vice president and director of Intercollegiate Athletics. "As evidenced by our Mayor's Cup trophies, Learfield Cup finishes, and NCAA appearances, Saint Leo has provided a broad-based athletic program. However, we cannot provide the necessary support to all our current programs. The university is committed to providing a great student-athlete experience for our student-athletes, but will need to do so with a smaller number of teams."

According to Rick Seltzer of, Saint Leo will also, "...eliminate 111 faculty and staff positions, close eight of 14 branch locations, shut down six of 23 sports teams, and end three degree programs."

Seltzer goes on to say that the heavy cuts ultimately stemmed from a failed acquisition by the university following an accreditor not backing the deal due to "concerns about Saint Leo's budgeting".

Saint Leo is the former home to a handful of top distance talents around the NCAA. The Lions produced names such as Sintayehu Vissa and Shane Bracken, two middle distance standouts who later attended Ole Miss.

Vissa is now a professional distance runner for On while Bracken has evolved into one of the Rebels' top milers, running 3:57 for the distance multiple times.

At the end of January, Marquette announced that they would be cutting scholarships for their men's and women's track and field teams, entirely, by 2025. The Golden Eagles will still be sponsored as a varsity sport by the university.

In mid-December, Akron announced that they were reinstating their men's cross country team after the program was initially cut during the pandemic.


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