Uno Should Continue To Have An Ncaa Sports ProgramThe student-athletes of UNO have had to endure a bumpy ride for the last couple of years. The problem first started when Hurricane Katrina damaged the basic athletic facilities and the campus. The enrollment still hasn't fully recovered!
As a result of the devasting hurricane, almost nine sports teams were suspended, which in turn decreased student enrollment. As an aftermath, the funds from student fees took a huge hit. To overcome this situation, the state budget implemented cuts which added to the woes of the athletics accounts department. Without the restoration of these funds, it is pretty certain the athletics programs will not survive. And the students just recently voted no to an increase in fees to keep athletics going.
Besides this, UNO is already in the fourth year of the five year waiver that was granted by the NCAA in order to retain Division I status without the minimum number of teams. In fact, what they should do is opt for Division II status. This way there are no attendance requirements, but scholarships are still available.
Bottom line, in recessionary times, do we really want to add to unemployment figures and make things worse? If sports are eliminated, the coaches will lose their jobs, the student athletes that don't transfer (which many will) will lose out on scholarships, and there will be no sporting events, which most people say framed their college experiences.
The fate of athletics at UNO now rests with the state legislature. The state must take this case in hand and ensure that the athletics opportunities for students remain intact, and maybe even find a way to increase them. Eliminating the sports program would be a great loss to UNO and the community.
By: Brian Falati
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