At a school known nationally for its strong athletic programs, it is easy to forget that not all athletes are superstars. We cheer on our varsity athletes with enthusiasm, while at the same time overlooking those students who compete for the Maroon and Gray before just a handful fans, without scholarship money, but with just as much spirit as any NCAA athlete. Now, when they are improving their records and proving they bleed Minuteman maroon as much as anyone. It is time for the Valley community to recognize the valuable contributions club athletes make to Umass.
Whether it's the fault of title IX and its demanding quotas or the football team sucking up every single last dollar the athletic department has, Club teams get the shaft. I witnessed the wrestling club almost get muscled out of the wrestling room by the girls swim team. Thankfully logic prevailed and the swim team stretched elsewhere instead of the only room in school devoted to a sport that was cut more then 20 years ago. Why was this glorious sport cut? One word Money. Wrestling isn't exactly the most popular sport here in New England thus it didn't have a huge fan base, which equals the school losing money on the sport. When title IX was created wrestling was sadly one of the first to go. For those of you who don't know Title IX is the bill that passed in 1972 that forces schools to make sure boys and girls athletics is proportional with their enrollment. Although not strictly enforced until the past three or four years, Men's varsity teams have been cut nation wide to make room for new female teams in the budget. These recently cut teams have now tried to make resurgence as club teams, but with little or no success. Without the funding and school backing the clubs can barely get off the ground without a major alumni contribution. What if these cuts happened to the major sports or even worse, other departments in the Umass system?.