Voices From the Crowd – Small collegiate sports deserve equal resources

Paul Lance

Contributing Writer

I’m sure most of us either watched our very own football team hand a beat down to the visiting Beavers of Bluffton University or enjoyed watching our favorite Division-I teams play all day Saturday. Whoever we watched, it was clear that college football is finally back. With the arrival of college football, it also sparks the return of other fall sports such as cross country, golf, volleyball, field hockey and more. With a wide variety of sports being offered at various colleges across the nation, it becomes clear that scheduling is a huge conflict for any athletic department. This past Saturday, Sep. 7, at nearby Kent State University, a scheduling conflict was exactly what arose. On Saturday morning, Temple University was slated to play No. 24 Maine University in a field hockey game. The game at the end of regulation was scoreless and thus was headed to overtime. 

The game, however, was cut short due to a fireworks display that had to be prepared before the noon kickoff of Kent State’s football game. The NCAA would rule the field hockey game as a scrimmage and not penalize the teams. Kent State students and other local university students went ballistic on social media over the decision. As someone who is not thoroughly up to date with all Title IX rules and regulations, the first thing that came to my mind was that this is indeed a violation of Title IX. To me it’s the university not giving a women’s team the same equal ability to compete in their sport as they are giving the men’s. 

Secondly, why are there fireworks for a noon kickoff game versus Kennesaw State University, a team who is Division-I, but compete in the Football Championship Subdivision. Kent State’s football team finished an abysmal 2-10 last year and sat in last place in the Mid American Conference Eastern Division. Maine field hockey, on the other hand, was ranked 24th in the nation heading into their contest with Temple. 

To add irony on top of the situation, the football game saw Kent State narrowly edge Kennesaw State 26-23 in — you guessed it — overtime. It just boggles my mind that in 2019 we still can’t find a way to let students have equal participation in their respective sports. 

As someone who wrestled in high school, I am quite frankly over the bigger sports like basketball and football dominating and receiving whatever accommodations they ask for because they “bring more money into the school.” So much for the right to play. We should be so far beyond something like this happening, yet here we are, still struggling to give teams the equal right to play the sport they love.

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