As a high school student, going to college wasn't a serious consideration, I was an average student who wanted to be a farmer.

My grandparents and several uncles farmed and I would spend summers enjoying the independence and helping on their farms.

In high school I loved to run and had a competitive nature which led to several half mile Mn. State championships and competed in two national Jr. Olympics. This caught the attention of many college track coaches recruiting me. That's when I encountered Coach Roy Griak from the Mn. track program.

I realized that this person was genuinely interested in me as student/person first and an athlete second. I would have ran for coach no matter what school he represented.

My time spent completing a degree in Animal Science and competing on the track team and meeting a wonder girl from Roseville, Mn., who also was a Mn. student whom I later married, is priceless.

With Roy's encouragement, we established a scholarship several years ago and have continued to give to programs at the University.

During my recruitment Roy stated,"" you are coming to the university to get an education for life so attend classes and stay eligible. You are leaving home for the first time so please stay in touch with your mom and dad, and find a place of worship so you can stay right with your God. If you can do these things then you will be free to come to track practice and be the best runner you can be.""

My university experience, thanks to Roy's interest in me as a student athlete, was life changing. To now recommend eliminating this program and stop life changing experiences for young men in the future for any excuse displays this athletic department's inability to be creative, resourceful and honest with their financial needs as it pertains to this program.

My mother would say,"" if you ever expect to get anything ask for something that's reasonable."" The athletic department asking for financial assistance to get this program thru a challenging time would be reasonable. All they have to do is ask.