As a former Bobcat, I'm proud of the move that uber-coach Stan Huntsman is making. Check out this great article from Mark Znidar of the Columbus Dispatch:
Stan Huntsman invested 16 years of his life in Ohio University as a graduate student and track coach.
Last week, he invested a couple of dollars in postage to mail his master’s degree diploma in physical education back to his alma mater.
Huntsman is livid that Ohio has eliminated the men’s indoor and outdoor track and field teams for budgetary reasons and to comply with Title IX.
In protest, he has demanded that a plaque honoring him be taken off the wall in the university athletic hall of fame. He was a student from 1955 and ’56 and a coach for 14 years until 1969.
"Definitely do that with my plaque," Huntsman said by telephone from his home in Austin, Texas. "If they don’t tear it down immediately, I could resort to unlawful methods. I’m not beyond that. Don’t try me. I doubt if I’d do that myself. I won’t step foot on that campus unless it’s the Alden Library.
"I’ve completely severed myself from the university. What I’d do is find somebody to take down that plaque for me. Some people would do that for free."
Huntsman also is unhappy that Ohio is dropping men’s swimming and diving and women’s lacrosse.
"I hope the university would reconsider all this," he said. "I’ve talked to a lot of former athletes and they feel as strongly as I do. I’m really concerned about what has happened. This is shocking. I thought Ohio University was above this. At least try to solve the monetary problems another way. The track team’s budget isn’t even $1 million. The university could change this. It doesn’t take a great administrator to be a hangman."
Ohio athletic director Kirby Hocutt said the university would comply with Huntsman’s wishes regarding the plaque.
"Coach Huntsman has devoted a great deal of his life to Ohio University, and he’s going to have a negative reaction," Hocutt said. "I would hope in time he’d reconsider putting his plaque back up. He means a lot to Ohio."
Huntsman is one of the greatest names in the history of United States track and field and cross country. He was inducted into the National Track & Field Hall of Fame in 2004.
In 39 years as coach at Ohio, Tennessee and Texas, Huntsman coached 46 conference champions. He won NCAA titles at Tennessee in cross country (1972) and outdoor track (1974) and was the U.S. Olympic coach for the 1988 Games and an assistant in 1976 and ’80.
Elmore Banton, another former Ohio track and field coach, said he’s "devastated" by the cuts. In a letter to the university, he wrote that Ohio is guilty of "cut-and-run" tactics. He noted that in 2005-06 the football team ran a $1.9 million deficit and the men’s basketball team a $331,000 deficit.
"The cows are too big for the barn and the chickens are being thrown out," he wrote. "I say put the cows on a diet. You’re attacking the wrong animal."