I participated in track and field at the U of Mn in the 80's and was fortunate to have had the privilege of having Coach Griak as both a coach and mentor. Indeed, I would not have attended the U of M had it not been for coach Griak and the track program. My experiences there, and the strong relationships I made with my teammates, (many of whom I am still close friends with 30 years later) were an integral part in shaping who I am today. I think that most collegiate athletes, at universities across this country, would undoubtedly say that their participation in college athletics has made them a better person. And better people make a better society.

I understand that times are tough, money is tight, and uncertainty is everywhere, but this knee-jerk, short sighted decision by the Regents to cut men's track and field is not the answer to balancing the budget and solving a real or perceived Title IX problem. I am hopeful that the Board of Regents will be willing to revisit their decision and come up with a better solution. Our current and future athletes, our community, the legacy of Coach Griak and others like him who gave so much of themselves for so many years, deserve better than this.