Over the summer, SFA announced that $26 million would go toward a new basketball facility. This will include a men and women's basketball court, offices for coaches, separate locker rooms, lounge rooms and nutrition areas for the basketball team members. The facility is expected to be finished around August 2020. The hope for this construction is to bring in more students as well as donors to the university. However, some students think this is unfair. It seems like basketball and football are the only sports that the school pays attention and puts money into. Not that they don’t deserve it, since they do bring in a lot of sponsors and money for the university and there is no denying that.
However, we as a community as well as the school, should give more, if not equal, attention to the other sports that the university hosts. So, should university funding be focused on mainstream sports rather than sports with good performance?
Just this past semester in April, the SFA bowling team won the 2019 NCAA Women’s Bowling Championship. They also placed in 22nd place for having the best grade point average for the 2018-19 school year. Last season, volleyball won 32 games out of a total of 35 games. Women’s golf placed fourth and Men’s golf placed T-second in their respective tournaments. Baseball won 25 games out of 58, and softball won 36 out of 49 games. And this is just scratching the surface of what all the other sports here at SFA are doing- having good performance. But there is little hype for these sports, or if there is any hype we don’t see it as much and not as many people show their appreciation for when these sports are in season.
You definitely know when it’s football season on campus, with Holler at Homer for the first home game of the season and the Purple Out Fridays that students are reminded of with yard signs throughout the campus. Even looking on the athletic traditions page on SFA’s website, all that’s listed is what happens when football wins or what is done to throw off the opposing team during the basketball games. Purple Haze does in fact advertise that they do show support for all sports teams and make it an effort to go to all of the fames, however they are only known for what they do during football and basketball season, which is not their fault but those two sports are the common examples used to get students to try and join or to how how much spirit current students have.
Again, not saying that football and basketball don't deserve attention; They do. It’s students considering attending SFA, parents of both current and future students, alumni, people who want to give money to the team/school and even the local community, coming together to celebrate long running traditions.
But the other teams deserve the spotlight too, or at least more recognition. For the students in those sports, seeing everyone make a bigger deal for the two popular sports gives them a feeling that no matter how well they do people will push it aside since it’s not football or basketball. There are some people that do get excited for softball, soccer, volleyball, etc. But they are overshadowed by the over the top super fans of football and basketball. Most students, when it was released that bowling won their championship, met back that news with confusion over the fact that the school even had a bowling team. It just seems fair to give as much attention and show our support for those teams.
This new basketball facility will help the teams and they deserve the help. It just would be nice for the other sport teams to get the same treatment. Just because they aren’t as popular/ bring in the most money, that doesn’t mean that they don’t deserve good practice facilities or the attention from the public. We as a community should try and hype up those teams and let them know that they aren’t hidden and that their hard work is also appreciated as well as acknowledged.