As Clemson Athletics reported Thursday, it will continue men’s outdoor and indoor track & field and cross country programs as varsity sports, plus it also plans to add one or more women’s varsity sports in its continuing commitment to gender equity and to supporting female students’ championship aspirations.
Clemson said a decision on which sport or sports to be added will be made in the near future.
However, The Clemson Insider has confirmed with multiple sources that “the near future” could be just a few weeks from now. Clemson Athletics plans to name a new sport or sports it will be sponsoring as early as May and no later than June.
TCI has also learned what sports are likely to be sponsored as varsity sports. From what we are hearing, Clemson has already looked into as many as 10 different sports. However, it appears the sports of women’s lacrosse, beach volleyball and equestrian have been the most discussed.
Clemson reported significant contributions from philanthropic fundraising, along with state and federal financial support and appropriations, have positioned the University and the Athletics Department to reconsider its decision. Their generosity allows Clemson to reinvest in supporting the men’s track programs and to expand its women’s sports offerings.
“This is the right decision for our University, our Department of Athletics and, most importantly, for the young men and women who proudly wear the Clemson uniform,” said Clemson President Jim Clements in the release. “I am thrilled that we are able to continue these men’s programs and I am excited for the new varsity opportunities we will soon be adding for our female student- athletes.”
While in recent years the Department of Athletics has added women’s golf and softball, the University has also seen rapid growth in its female student population. In 2011, Clemson’s student population was 54.3 percent male. In the Fall 2021 semester, female students are expected to outnumber males for the first time.
“I am appreciative of the support of the University and our collaboration that will allow us to not only maintain our current sports portfolio but add to it in the very near future,” said Director of Athletics Dan Radakovich. “As we communicated previously, the original decision was difficult, and we did what was necessary at the time to maintain compliance with gender equity while addressing our financial situation. I am excited about the future of Clemson Athletics and for our student-athletes.”
—Clemson Athletics communications contributed to this story
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