Eliminating cross country a ‘bad look,’ student-athlete says

Jordan Nance running at a cross country meet. Photo courtesy Jordan Nance

Jordan Nance, a member of Florida A&M University’s men’s cross country team, sat back after a long day of practice. He reflected on how he learned the news about FAMU eliminating his team, along with the men’s tennis team, in an effort to reduce an ongoing, burgeoning debt in athletics.

“I found out we were on the verge of possibly being cut from the news, and then the coach confirmed it,” Nance said.

Nance, in his first year running cross country for FAMU and second year running track, said he was shocked by the news, but because he’s a dual-sport athlete he will still have an opportunity to compete as a Rattler.

“I was kind of shocked that cross country got cut,” Nance said. “I would say I probably wasn’t as hurt about it because it was cross country, but had it been track and field it probably would have affected me more.”

As part of a plan by FAMU’s administration to help get rid of a projected deficit of $2.3 million in athletics for the current fiscal year, the university announced on Oct. 31 that it is cutting the men’s cross country program and tennis teams. FAMU has not addressed how much money eliminating these sports will save.

Even if in the long run it will help athletics, Nance thinks it puts a blemish on FAMU’s overall reputation and its athletics department.

“I feel like it’s a bad look that you have cut two men’s teams to cut down on spending and money used,” Nance said.

Nance, who is a Tallahassee native, is the son of FAMU staff member Stephen Nance, who works in the orientation office. Nance said his father’s influence helped steer him to FAMU.

“He would always little by little expose me to the stuff FAMU had going on,” Nance said. “I would say he exposed me to FAMU’s atmosphere, but I kind of made the decision on my own.”

Even with both parents being employees at FAMU Jordan’s decision ultimately was in his hands.

“Jordan had offers for track from several different school.” Stephen Nance said. “It came down to FAMU and another school. While his mother and I gave our input, ultimately the decision was left up to Jordan.”

Looking down the road, Nance would one day like to run professionally following in the steps of some of his track role models, such as Usain Bolt and Noah Lyes. But as a pre-physical therapy major, he would like to be able to work at a university or for a professional sports team to be able to help other athletes.

“I want to have my own personal firm for physical therapy, I either want to be a head athletic trainer at a big university or a head trainer for a professional team,” Nance said.

When asked what he will miss most from his last season running cross country, he instantly pointed to the camaraderie with his teammates.

“I would say going to the meets with my teammates and competing, traveling together and the laughs we had shared, practices we had to do together, all that stuff,” Nance said.