University of Tennessee track coach Beth Alford-Sullivan cut six women from the team, including three scholarship freshmen, two weeks after the start of practices, Ben Frederickson of the Knoxville News-Sentinel reported on Saturday.
Alford-Sullivan was announced as Tennessee's new coach on June 24, replacing former coach J.J. Clark, who was fired.
Six weeks later, on Aug. 6, she said that the 16 members of the team's latest signing class would join the team as a group.
According to parents, on Sept. 24, Alford-Sullivan released walk-ons Margaret Draper, Brooke Coltelli and Laura Morse, as well as incoming scholarship athletes Morgan Harvey, Ariel Terrell and Shelbi White.
Alford-Sullivan, according to Frederickson, had previously praised the incoming sprinters and hurdlers.
"My problem is the callousness of how she did this," [parent] George Harvey said. "These girls gave up other scholarships to come to Tennessee, and basically they're being screwed by this coach."
UT spokesman Jimmy Stanton told the News-Sentinel that the program had placed no transfer restrictions on the dismissed athletes, and that the school would support their scholarships through the end of the current school year.
- Christopher Woody