U of Alaska Reverses Plan to Cut Skiing, Track

November 11, 2016

In a reversal, the University of Alaska's president, Jim Johnsen, said Thursday that he will recommend the university's Board of Regents not cut men's and women's skiing and indoor track at two Alaska campuses.

Johnsen had originally proposed eliminating the sports at the university's Anchorage and Fairbanks campuses in an attempt to save money. Johnsen's plan was to create a consortium of the two Division II colleges, essentially creating one athletic program across two campuses. In doing so, Johnsen proposed cutting men's and women's indoor track and men's and women's skiing at the University of Anchorage, as well as skiing at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks, meaning Anchorage would be below the 10 teams required to remain in Division II. Johnsen requested a waiver from the National Collegiate Athletic Association, but the NCAA said it would not consider such a request until the teams were actually eliminated.

"We know that such a step would risk a wide variety of financial and programmatic NCAA sanctions," Johnsen said in a statement Thursday. "As a result of this nonresponse from the NCAA, I will recommend to the Board of Regents that we not reduce teams at this time."

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