Women’s track may receive funding next year

Northern Kentucky University’s women’s track and field team could soon gain legitimacy, as the university continues to position itself for a move to NCAA Division I athletics next year.

NKU currently has 13 sports, which is one less than the minimum National Collegiate Athletic Association’s requirements to join Division I; therefore, in order to make the move, NKU would need to add one more women’s sport.

According to Vice President of Student Affairs Zebulun Davenport, who oversees athletics, a women’s indoor and outdoor track and field team would be the most likely addition.
“It is the sport we have talked the most about,” Davenport said. “Having a cross country team, it is logical to add track.”

Not to mention NKU already has a women’s track and field team. The track and field team is NCAA compliant and sponsored by NKU Athletics, but it is not funded.

According to Athletic Director Scott Eaton, the teams are not funded because they were created on a purely volunteer basis by cross country coach Steve Kruse in order to keep the cross country team engaged during the off-season.

If NKU decides to add the sport, it will have to be funded by the athletic department. Eaton says there is money in the budget that has been put aside in case this possibility becomes an action.

Following a women’s team could be a men’s team; however, Eaton says a men’s team is not part of the initial project. However, a men’s team may follow soon after, something Kruse has wanted for a long time.

“I’ve been pulling for that since I was a student-athlete,” Kruse said. “Interest is an all-time high on campus, and there are great hopes to add track and field.”

Story by John Minor