Tuesday, December 04, 2007

UNH and baseball

This is the type of editorial we usually just let go but given that it's about University of New Hampshire, the alma mater of Ebuz and myself, and that we were actually at UNH and in student government when the cut baseball team came to plead its case (we had no power to change that decision by the way), it probably deserves a posting.

The occasion of the editorial which bemoans the cutting of the baseball team over a decade ago is the installment of a new president who was hired "for one purpose: to raise money." First of all, what university president isn't hired these days to raise money? Second, the criticism that the money he is raising won't go to reinstating baseball seems to be more egregious to the writer than the fact that it is not necessarily earmarked for lowering tuition either--something that would benefit far more students than reinstating baseball.

The writer calls on new president Mark Huddleston to raise private funds for baseball. Let's also note here that the idea of bringing back baseball, which was actually only one of the sports cut that year and there have been several more since, including women's teams, has not even been a serious consideration. Additionally it is very difficult to sustain an athletic team on private donations. Teams are already doing a lot of fundraising. At home football games members of various athletic teams, it's often the ski team which had its budget cut significantly the year baseball was cut, sell raffle tickets in the stands. I had friends on the women's hockey team that had to go to men's hockey games and sell 50/50 tickets. Yet you don't see football players climbing through the stands at women's volleyball games trying to raise money for their very expensive program.

I don't know who asked Huddleston the question about baseball, but his response that it's not in the cards was a lot more diplomatic than my own would have been.