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WHEREAS, on September 29, 2006 Dr. Linwood Rose announced that James Madison University would be eliminating 10 varsity sports (combined budget $550,000) effective July 1, 2007. Dr. Rose stated this was necessary in order for the school to become compliant with Title IX requirements. 144 student athletes will be affected by these cuts; Only 8 of these students receive scholarships;
WHEREAS, the James Madison University Board of Visitors held secret meetings, over 18 months to devise a plan to eliminate the 10 varsity sports, and did not allow any public input or participation in this process;
WHEREAS, the athletic program is 84\% funded by the general fee paid by all students and, as a public institution, James Madison University is answerable to all Virginia taxpayers;
WHEREAS, the James Madison University Board of Visitors allowed coaches to recruit freshman athletes, without disclosing to these athletes that they were about to make cuts to the varsity sports for which they were being recruited;
WHEREAS, a coalition of students, parents and alumni was formed to investigate this decision and learned that the Board of Visitors and Dr. Rose had other options for compliance with Title IX which would not require the wholesale elimination of these sports.
WHEREAS, Dr. David Black from the Office of Civil Rights has confirmed that James Madison University did NOT have to eliminate 10 varsity sports to comply with Title IX, and advised that JMU could have used other methods to comply.
WHEREAS, efforts have been made by the coalition to persuade Dr. Rose and the Board of Visitors to change their minds or at least do the honorable thing and allow the sports to run through 2010 so that the freshman recruited by the school could continue their college athletic careers. To date, Dr. Rose and the Board have been unwilling to consider the alternatives available for Title IX compliance and have exposed the University to possible investigation by the Office of Civil Rights and to lawsuits from athletes.

NOW THEREFORE, we believe that the September 29, 2006 decision did not explore all available options for Title IX compliance.

We have learned this decision was made secretly, based upon the advice of a single biased consultant without any input from alumni or the student body.

We believe that Mens Swimming, Cross Country, Indoor and Outdoor Track, Archery, Wrestling, Gymnastics and Womens Gymnastics, Archery, and Fencing should not be eliminated without further investigation by the University.

WHEREAS, by signing our names to this petition we ask Dr. Rose and the Board of Visitors to allow the sports to continue through 2010 and honor the commitment that the school made to recruited athletes. We also ask for the formation of a task force of alumni, students, faculty and administration to study the schools athletic programs without bias and recommend the appropriate future action. A recent task force study by the College of William and Mary to establish the future of that schools athletic department is available as a guide.

WHEREAS, by signing our names to this petition, we ask the Commonwealth of Virginia General Assembly to intervene and take measures to re-instate the varsity sports programs eliminated by James Madison University.

Please sign this online petition and circulate it among students, alumni, faculty and Virginia residents whose taxes support the University! The completed petition will be sent to JMU and the Virginia General Assembly. Please visit our web site www.savejmusports.org

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Ramon BirdBy:
TelecommunicationsIn:
Petition target:
JMU Board of Visitors and the Virginia General Assembly

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