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Shelter in place lifted after a threat over its Black Lives Matter mural

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A “shelter in place” order at the University of North Carolina Asheville was lifted Friday evening after the university received a threatening email demanding that a Black Lives Matter mural on campus be painted over.



a car parked on the side of a road: Entrances to the UNC Asheville campus are blocked Friday after the campus is locked down over an emailed threat demanding the university paint over a Black Lives Matter mural.


© Angeli Wright/Asheville Citizen-Times/USA Today Network
Entrances to the UNC Asheville campus are blocked Friday after the campus is locked down over an emailed threat demanding the university paint over a Black Lives Matter mural.

The university announced Friday morning that it was canceling all classes and campus activities for the day, advising residential students to stay in place and nonessential personnel to return home.

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Chancellor Nancy J. Cable said in a statement that the order was lifted at 7 p.m. Friday “in consultation with federal, state, and local law enforcement.”

“Today has been a challenging time for UNC Asheville and I am grateful for your support and cooperation,” Cable said. “I encourage every member of our campus community to remain vigilant. Please take care of one another. We remain fully committed to our University values of diversity, equity and inclusion. Black Lives Matter.”

A safety alert sent by the university just after 8:30 a.m. Friday said that “several offices at the University received an email communicating a direct threat to members of the UNC Asheville community. The email demanded that the Black Lives Matter mural on University Heights on campus be painted over.”

“A decision has been made to send a Bulldog Alert to all faculty, staff, and students to shelter in place until further notice. We ask that employees, other than essential personnel, stay away from campus today.”

The university did not specify the details of the threat, but said in the alert that it would continue to update the campus community. Officials said the campus would remain closed at least

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Students told shelter in place after a threat over its Black Lives Matter mural

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The University of North Carolina Asheville is under a “shelter in place” order as of Friday afternoon after the university received a threatening email demanding that a Black Lives Matter mural on campus be painted over.



a car parked on the side of a road: Entrances to the UNC Asheville campus are blocked Friday after the campus is locked down over an emailed threat demanding the university paint over a Black Lives Matter mural.


© Angeli Wright/Asheville Citizen-Times/USA Today Network
Entrances to the UNC Asheville campus are blocked Friday after the campus is locked down over an emailed threat demanding the university paint over a Black Lives Matter mural.

The university announced Friday morning that it was canceling all classes and campus activities for the day, advising residential students to stay in place and nonessential personnel to return home.

“During the night several offices at the University received an email communicating a direct threat to members of the UNC Asheville community. The email demanded that the Black Lives Matter mural on University Heights on campus be painted over,” according to a safety alert sent by the university just after 8:30 a.m.

“A decision has been made to send a Bulldog Alert to all faculty, staff, and students to shelter in place until further notice. We ask that employees, other than essential personnel, stay away from campus today.”

The university did not specify the details of the threat, but said in the alert that it would continue to update the campus community. Officials said the campus would remain closed at least until Saturday morning.

In another safety alert later on Friday afternoon, university officials said multiple law enforcement agencies were investigating the threat, along with campus police.

UNC Asheville is part of the state’s multi-campus public university system and has about 3,600 students, according to its website.

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Colleges are cutting sports programs and upending lives

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A freshman track and field athlete cried on the bed in his dorm room. He felt angry and screamed. A baseball coach tried to explain the situation to his two young children before focusing his efforts on finding his players a home. Months later, he scrolls through Instagram and struggles with mixed emotions as he sees his players in their new uniforms.

The novel coronavirus pandemic has financially strained athletic departments. Schools didn’t receive their usual distribution from the NCAA after the men’s basketball tournament was canceled. They have lost revenue from student fees and donations. Most conferences are playing a shortened football season, with limited or no fan attendance, hurting yet another revenue stream. Many smaller schools are no longer receiving the payouts from nonconference matchups against Power Five programs. Schools have responded to these deficits by eliminating teams.

Around 80 Division I programs no longer exist, affecting roughly 1,500 athletes. Success and prominence don’t guarantee immunity. Furman baseball had a 125-year history. East Carolina men’s swimming won a conference title in February. Power Five schools — Iowa, Stanford and Minnesota — have discontinued programs.

“As an Olympic sport at a Division I college, you always have this understanding in the back of your head that if something is going to be cut, it’s potentially going to be your sport,” said Dan Shuman, a former East Carolina swimmer. “It’s living in the shadow of the guillotine.”

If that day comes, as it recently has for hundreds of athletes, they are forced to transfer to a new school or give up their sport to stay on campus. Coaches lose their jobs and must move their families for the next one. This process repeats around the country, each time beginning with an emotional team meeting that leaves athletes scrambling to adjust.

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Illinois State coach Kurt Beathard posts ‘All Lives Matter’ sign, then resigns

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The Pantagraph cited sources last week in reporting that a “Black Lives Matter” poster was taken down recently in the Redbirds’ locker room. Beathard told the newspaper he had nothing to do with that, but he suggested that he took down a similar poster placed on his office door and replaced it with the “All Lives Matter” sign.

“That locker room crap is wrong. I took the sign down somebody put on my door. That’s it,” Beathard told the Pantagraph. “I didn’t take anything off that wasn’t put on my door. I wrote the message.”

Lyons and a spokesman for the Redbirds’ athletic department could not immediately be reached for comment.

The Illinois State athletics department announced Wednesday that Beathard was “no longer with the football program.” A pair of assistants, Ghaali Muhammad-Lankford and C.J. Irvin, will share the position of offensive coordinator.

The Vidette, Illinois State’s student newspaper, reported last week that Beathard cleared his office and posted the sign before resigning his position.

Beathard has deep ties to the football world: He is the son of legendary NFL general manager Bobby Beathard and the uncle of San Francisco 49ers quarterback C.J. Beathard.

That Facebook account has also shared messages of support for President Trump and criticism of football players’ protests of racial injustice during the national anthem. Earlier in September, the account shared a message that asked people to “Pray for our president,” and it included an image with the message, “Babies Lives Matter Also.”

The Redbirds don’t have a game until February; the Missouri Valley Football Conference postponed football until spring because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

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