by Ivy Milne
For those who are unaware, President Dr. Zulma Toro has recently implemented multiple changes within the Athletic Department, affecting all the athletes at Central Connecticut State University. These changes include the removal of two collegiate teams—both men’s and women’s golf—as well as the reduction of 35.5 scholarships throughout all of the Athletics Department and a new policy stating all athletes who obtain either a full or partial scholarship must reside in an on-campus living facility.
With this news, there have been a plethora of opinions floating around all over campus. As a student-athlete of nearly two years at Central, it is difficult to grasp the concept of two teams being cut from the program. Ask any athlete about what it’s like to play at a collegiate level and they would agree that, although we love it, it’s like a job.
If you have the opportunity to be on scholarship, athletes perform to remain on that scholarship, as you would work at an office to remain on the payroll. With scholarship money being essential for some student-athletes to attend Central and further their education, it is unfair that the chance of their team being cut without much of a warning is a possibility, in the manner that the golf teams were cut.
The women’s and men’s golf teams were very uninformed throughout the process of the task force deciding how to face our budget cuts and, perhaps if they had more information, they could have had the opportunity to raise the funds necessary, or at least better prepare themselves for how they will be continuing their future in athletics.
Although Toro did make efforts to keep us informed in the process as best she could, I think even the prospect of something like a team being cut from the program should be shared with the department as soon as possible.
There are also many issues and questions surrounding the housing of athletes next semester. As many students have rental agreements and contracts with off-campus houses and apartments, it may be hard to implement this policy with all the different accommodations. In addition, many student-athletes with only partial scholarships can make the argument that, for them, living off-campus would be much less expensive than having to live on-campus and get a meal plan. Not to mention, it would be difficult for students who have lived off-campus for, say, three years already to move onto campus.
Adjusting to an on-campus lifestyle is a big change. Although this seems like more of a materialistic issue, it is an inconvenience that many people have an issue with.
Although Toro made the final call and did what she thought best would help the athletic department adjust to the budget cuts, it was a decision that will surely come with backlash.