Spelman College Drops Sports Program

** ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND OF AUG 4-5 ** Spelman College President Beverly Tatum talks with The Associated Press during an interview on the campus of the school in Atlanta, Monday, July 16, 2007. Tatum has written a new book, "Can We Talk About Race." (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

By// Mariah Craddick

Spelman College in Atlanta will ditch its current athletic program in exchange for an overall student wellness program, according to the Associated Press.

The college’s president Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum announced the decision this past Thursday, saying the school would invest in a campus-wide health and fitness program.

“When I was looking at the decision, it wasn’t being driven by the cost as much as the benefit. With $1 million, 80 student-athletes are benefiting,” she said. “Or should we invest in a wellness program that would touch every student’s life?”

While not a NCAA athletics program, Spelman is a Division III school and has been a part of the Great South Athletic Conference in seven sports. Tatum remains hopeful that the exchange will not discourage current or future students.

“Students who really want to be at Spelman will still come to Spelman,” she said. “We are trying to meet students where they are in terms of their interest, but also helping them understand that the elements of wellness…are the kinds of things that are going to help them avoid the kinds of illnesses that are killing African-American women far too early.”