Increased retention rates save CCU Track and Cross Country progr - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Increased retention rates save CCU Track and Cross Country programs

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CONWAY, S.C. (WBTW) -

On May 10, the coaches and members of the Coastal Carolina University Track and Field and Cross Country programs were in Atlanta for a meet at Georgia Tech. The team was on it's way back to the hotel from the track when Head Coach Jeff Jacobs got a phone call saying his programs were reinstated. This news came just days after the announcement that both Men's Cross Country and Track and Field would be cut as part of a school wide $1,000,000 budget cut.

Jacobs said the scene on the bus when he told the team the news was sheer elation.

"Kids were screaming and yelling," said Jacobs. "I admit I was crying and other people were crying...tears of joy! We again were just so grateful that decision was made and that our program was going to continue on."

Reggie Nelson, a high jumper on the team, said the announcement was just what they needed after a hard workout and a tough week before.

"It was an overwhelming feeling," said Nelson. "Everyone was chilling after a hard workout. Next thing you know everyone suddenly found some energy after he told us the good news. It was exciting."

Junior Russel Kanner, said the team decided to wear their shirts inside out while waiting for the decision to hopefully be overturned.

"Instantly the shirts were flipped back on and we were proud to represent Coastal all over again," Kanner said. "We had a lot of motivation coming into the meet we had this past weekend."

That motivation sparked the team to some top three performances at the meet. The team currently has four athletes and two relay teams qualified for the East Regional round of the NCAA meet.

The athletes said they were just happy to have their program back. The CCU Board of Trustees cited better retention rates in a press release announcing the reinstatement of the teams. According to Martha Hunn in the Office of University Communication, the Office of Finance and the Office of Institutional Research calculated those new figures. Hunn said a school wide effort resulted in a six percent higher retention rate for Fall of 2013 than that of 2012. That breaks down to 139 freshmen who plan to re-enroll as sophomores next fall. Hunn said the combination of instate and out-of-state students tuition will add up to a projected $1,738,537.22. 

When the Board was shown these numbers they decided to rescind the original request for a one million dollar cut across the school. The projected cut not only would have affected the track and cross country teams, but also academic and administrative programs. 

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