When Beth Alford-Sullivan was hired to replace the University of Tennessee's recently fired women's track coach this summer, she publicly promised to keep all 16 of the program's newly recruited athletes. At the end of September, however, Alford-Sullivan released six members of the team after just two weeks of practice, the Knoxville News-Sentenial reported.
Parents of the six athletes said Alford-Sullivan told the women that they did not "fit into the direction her and her staff are going in." Three of the athletes had received substantial athletic scholarships. The university said it will honor the scholarships through the end of the school year. The coach's decision to release the athletes comes at a time when many colleges in wealthier leagues -- including some in the Southeastern Conference, of which Tennessee is a member -- are vowing to end one-year renewable scholarships and the uncertainty that comes with them.
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