VCU Plans to Cut Physical Education Program as School’s Athletics Department Looks to Continue Success in 2013-2014 Season

You don’t have to walk very far through the VCU Athletics Department to know that there’s something special going on with the school’s athletes. Last year, Virginia Commonwealth University’s men’s basketball team made it to the NCAA Tournament Round of 32 before being displaced by #4 ranked Michigan in a lopsided final, while athletes throughout the department continue to win praise across the country for their achievements.

But despite all this athletic success, VCU is considering scrapping its physical education program. For these and other stories, keep reading below.

VCU Rams assistant coach Will Wade moves on

In May 2013, Chattanooga hired VCU assistant coach Will Wade to be the new men’s head basketball coach. Wade has experienced phenomenal success over his past four years at VCU and hopes to continue that success at the University of Tennessee – Chattanooga.

As a Nashville native, Wade is eagerly anticipating the challenge of becoming head coach of a school that demands the highest from its athletes. And after earning only one NCAA bid over the past 8 seasons, Wade has his work cut out for him. We wish Will Wade the best of luck in his future role!

Brad Stevens and Shaka Smart considered forerunners to replace Coach K as head coach of US men’s Olympic basketball team

Coach Krzyzewski recently announced that he would be leading the next version of the United States Olympic men’s basketball team in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. While basketball fans across the country rejoiced at this news, some question whether this could be Coach K’s last Olympics as head coach.

If 2016 is indeed Coach K’s last Olympics as head coach, then Butler’s Brad Stevens or VCU’s Shaka Smart are considered frontrunners to replace the storied leader. Stevens has guided the Bulldogs to two consecutive national championship appearances in recent years, while Smart has made the VCU Rams more successful than ever before, leading them to one Final Four appearance as well as consecutive NCAA tournament appearances.

In any case, we’ll have to wait until after the 2016 Olympics – where Coach K will try to earn the country’s third straight gold medal – before we know anything more about the future of Smart and Stevens.

VCU considers completely cutting physical education training program from the school

Despite all the happy stories listed above, VCU is considering getting rid of an important part of its athletics department – the physical education program. According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, VCU officials are considering scrapping the five-year program due to larger, more robust programs offered at Longwood and James Madison universities. The VCU PE program only had 54 students this past spring, and two of the program’s prominent professors recently retired.

There is good news for students currently involved in the physical education program: if the program does get phased out, students who are currently on track to receive their reaching license would be able to continue and complete their degree. After earning the PE degree, students generally choose to pursue a master’s degree or a teaching license in health and physical education.

VCU Rams will participate in Puerto Rico Classic basketball tourney and may be favorites to win

After arguably the best men’s basketball season in school history in 2012-2013, the VCU Rams aim to aspire to greater heights in the 2013-2014 season. And as one of 8 teams selected to appear in the Puerto Rico Classic, the VCU Rams could continue making a name for themselves on the national stage.

Although VCU is up against stiff competition (including Michigan and Georgetown), some are suggesting that VCU could be the top-ranked favorite heading into the tournament. Here’s which schools are competing in the tournament this year:

  • Michigan
  • Georgetown
  • VCU
  • Kansas State
  • Florida State
  • Charlotte
  • Long Beach State
  • Northeastern

Despite the strength of that list of teams, there are some weaknesses that could cause VCU to win it all. Michigan and Georgetown will likely lose some key players before the beginning of next season, while the VCU Rams’ roster will be largely intact from the 2012-2013 season.

In any case, the field is stacked and the Puerto Rico Classic is bound to be an exciting tournament of some of college basketball’s finest players.

Two VCU track and field students qualify for NCAA championships

We are proud to share with you the success of two VCU students who recently qualified for the NCAA women’s track and field championships. Those two students are discus thrower Jaleesa Williams and runner Kiara Porter, both of whom beat school records on their way to the championships.
Williams qualified for the championships by throwing a school record of 171-4, while Porter beat her own school record in the 400 meters with a time of 52.33 seconds.

To put that achievement into perspective, consider this: VCU hasn’t sent an athlete to the NCAA women’s’ track and field championships since 2005. And this year, the school is sending two. The championships take place from June 5-8.