There’s an old adage that goes something like: “winning begets winning.” Well if that’s true, the University of New Mexico’s Board of Regents better keep their highly accomplished NCAA ski team.
According to the DailyLobo.com, the university’s athletic department recently shocked the program’s coaches, athletes, and supporters when they announced the team will be cut from UNM athletic programming to free up some money in their otherwise depleted budget.
The University’s move has since garnered criticism from Olympic gold medalist and overall FIS World Cup Champ Mikaela Shiffrin whose reaction makes sense considering the UNM Ski Team is the school’s most successful athletic program. The Lobos have claimed 17 NCAA championship titles and retain the best student-athlete GPA at the university.
“In Fall 2015, both Women’s and Men’s Ski Team set new Department GPA records with 3.95 and 3.65, respectively, while also finishing 5th at NCAA Championships the same year.”
The cut is even more nefarious seeing as it follows UNM’s $1 million buyout of former Lobo’s head basketball coach, Craig Neal at the beginning of April. By comparison, UNM Basketball program’s biggest success in the past 20 year was making it to the second round of the NCAA tournament. The new coach, Paul Weir is set to make $625,000 during his first year of coaching.
It is so sad to see this news about UNM skiing. Can't believe their most successful athletic program would be cut! Ski racing has taught me passion, discipline, determination, work ethic… qualities that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. Not to mention the friends I have made along the way on this incredible journey. Collegiate ski racing is essential in keeping the passion for our sport alive, and the athletes of UNM skiing need our help now to keep doing the sport they are most passionate about. Sign and share if you agree ❤️ https://www.change.org/p/unm-board-of-regents-save-the-university-of-new-mexico-ski-team #savetheskiteam
The ski team has since submitted a petition addressed to the UNM Board of Regents, asking them to reconsider cutting their program from the university’s athletic offerings. If the cut were executed as is– scholarship skiers would be left out in the cold without the proper time needed to transfer to another school’s ski program. The ski coaches on the other hand would be left without a job. A protest was held earlier this morning and an announcement by the Board of Regents is expected later today or early tomorrow.
Find the entire DailyLobo.com article here: Ski team laments “poorly handled” situation