Within the week, Houston head Leroy Burrell, as president of the USTFCCCA, sent a letter to the nation’s Div. I coaches, calling the Minnesota decision, “a shot across the bow that threatens every Division I men’s track & field/cross country program in the country.”
The former 100 World Record holder continued, “It is clear to me that our sport is being made a scapegoat due to years of athletic administration mismanagement and poor decisions that have led to departments that are highly leveraged. Looking for excuses in the name of temporary financial shortfalls as a result of COVID-19 and ‘Title IX compliance’ is unacceptable. The ‘difficult choices’ cited by Minnesota and others to drop men’s track & field and/or cross country does little to nothing to rectify their temporary financial situations, while permanently eliminating student-athlete opportunities.”
While admitting that the response of the USTFCCCA to recent program cancellations is a work in progress, Burrell added, “Going forward, I am directing our national office to seek out a public relations firm interested in providing pro bono professional assistance to create and execute a national campaign to educate university administrators and the general public on the values and benefits of a track & field/cross country program.
“In addition, I am requesting the national office to identify a law firm and/or lobbyist to assist in guiding our campaign’s direction. Further, I plan to challenge our association’s board of directors, executive committees, and all member coaches to engage in our messaging as we move forward.”
Burrell added to T&FN directly, “We’re the diversity sport. Especially after all that’s happened in Minneapolis [regards the George Floyd case], this sends the wrong signal.”
The course is a 4.3 mile loop on some of the flattest, most pristine roads you could ever imagine. FAST! The goal will be to run under 2:10:00 (Men) and under 2:24 (Women). Pacers will be provided. The top athletes are the priority, though depending on the field there could be additional pace groups.
n March, I expressed amazement that Moroccan-born EPO cheat Ridouane Harroufi had won the US 15K title.
For starters, I believe that if you test positive for EPO, you should be banned from track and field for life as there was no way it was an innocent ingestion of the drug. But that’s not the way the rules are written, and I do believe in following the rules.
What I didn’t get was how this guy was allowed to become a US citizen in the first place. With hundreds of thousands and sometimes more than a million immigrants that are desperate to get into this country each year and with the huge backlog of immigration cases, why wasn’t being a drug cheat a disqualifier for citizenship?
Immigrants are supposed to show they have “good moral character,” yet somehow this drug cheat who was popped for EPO in 2013 was granted citizenship after his drug bust. Yet people like Yuliya and Vitaly Stepanov, the couple that risked their lives to bring down the doping regime in Russia and have been living here for five years, can’t even get an interview for citizenship? Or Edward Cheserek, who has been in the US for a decade now, can’t get a green card and even has problems even renewing his visa? That’s insane.
- The fastest man in the world, Christian Coleman, has been suspended for three months…yet it has largely been overlooked because so many American stars elected not to travel to Europe this year.
- And the most exciting race at the most exciting Diamond League of the year came in an even, the men’s 5000, the Diamond League itself said it would eliminate in 2020.