MN Sports Alumni Unite
Alumni, donors, and friends of the University of Minnesota (UMN) athletic teams have united to form the Minnesota Athletics Alliance (MAA), in partnership with the American Sports Council.
The MAA coalesced in response to the October, 2020 decision by the UMN to eliminate the men’s gymnastics, tennis, and indoor track and field programs. The MAA’s immediate goal is to reinstate the three cut teams, and its long-term agenda is to build a multi-sport coalition to advocate for a broad based sports program at the UMN, promoting the educational value of athletics as its central mission.
Pat Borzi of the Minnesota Post wrote about the launch of the MAA:
A group of U of M boosters are still fighting to reinstate men’s gymnastics, tennis and indoor track.
Tennis leader, Anne- Marie McNamara Rodgers, declared the determination of the MAA to overturn the UMN decision to eliminate the three sports:
“We’re still fighting this fight,” said McNamara Rogers, also the president of Gopher football’s Goal Line Club. “I told (UMN Athletics Director, Coyle) in March when we met: ‘Mark, I will never, ever, ever give up on this.’ I can’t. It’s my family legacy.”
The MAA aims to unite all UMN student athletes, “M” winners, alumni, coaches, parents, and others to stand up and advocate for a broad based athletic program as one of many avenues the UMN has to deliver on its educational mission to meet the diverse needs of the communities across the state.
The MAA alumni groups from Track, Tennis, and Gymnastics have offered to fund the cut programs, and each team had endowments in place at the time of their termination by the UMN.
Track alumni leader, Bill Smith, stated, “we really believe in the value of athletics and the opportunity for student-athletes, and we want to help..”