By Shane Burrell |Sports Editor|
CSUSB athletics will feel a hard hit from the athletic department when our current water polo team is replaced with an all women’s track and field team.
The shocking announcement to cut the sport was made March 21 by Director of athletics, Dr. Kevin Hatcher and Mark Reinhiller, Associate of Media relations.
Hatcher states the decision was made in the best interest of the communities and high schools of incoming students.
“Track and field is the single largest high school sport for young women in our immediate recruiting area of the Inland Empire,” stated Hatcher.
The reason behind the switch seems to be the new additions that will be added to our school.
However, Hatcher has some mixed feelings about the trade.
“This is a time of mixed emotions for both myself and Cal State San Bernardino,” said Hatcher.
Given the confusion on why this is the best decision for the school Hatcher explained, “Adding track and field makes sense on multiple levels, but in particular, it accommodates more of the interests and abilities of young women in our area.’’
Although Hatcher states that this change makes sense on multiple levels, it still begs the question why the only opening is for women.
Track and Field is a sport of strength and endurance that both men and women are able to participate in.
Hatcher also made a comment that this change is necessary to keep the school’s commitment to Title IX, which states that there should be an equal opportunity for men and women in the college sports.”
This policy means that schools and colleges receiving federal funding can not legally give preference to men.
Instead, they must allocate their resources to men and women in proportion to their interest and enrollment,” stated by Lisa Wade PhD, of Society Pages.
The number of athletic teams might not have changed on campus, but the dynamic of the athletics has definitely changed and not in favor of the students.
According to the school’s website of Institutional Research, there are 23.6 percent more women than men on campus.
In my opinion this statistic is factual and does not suggest that the men who attend CSUSB are less athletic than the women.
By making the track and field team only open to women, the school is missing out on the talented men that are able to benefit the school.
Hatcher stated that when it comes down to it, that they must do what is right for the budget, as well the department.
“But at the end of the day, our commitment is to our CCAA membership and maintaining our fiscal operations in an efficient manner,” stated Hatcher.
Maintaining the membership with the CCAA is a great opportunity for our athletes to gain scholarships and be able to play some of the sports they enjoy and expand their talents as athletes.
Having the Track and Field only limited to the female students and not the male students excludes the talents that could be utilized to help support our school.
As for keeping up with Title IX, we should be able to add this sport as co-ed, and look at another sport for the women of our campus. By doing this we might be able to expand the range of male students verse female students as well as promote the talents of all of our community and not just the female population.
It appears that the university is reactionary to the shift toward female athletes verse male athletes in the department.
Although in my opinion if the university will allow males to also enter the track and field program then this will give an opportunity to expand the budget in the athletics as well as expand the population of our student body, thus giving students more opportunities to benefit from our school while being able to have more funding for our athletics programs.