Cutting athletics is not the answer
Sharman Bruni, Editor-in-Chief
March 21, 2012
Filed under Opinion
As many students know now: on Wednesday, March 7 the football and aquatics programs were cut as the governing board voted 4-2 on the decision.
Although I am not involved in either program, I have been a student at Solano Community College since 2006, first taking extracurricular classes in high school and then as a college student up to the present time. While it may have taken me a long time to figure out what I wanted to major in, one thing that stayed solid with me throughout my years here is the opportunities that physical education classes on campus have presented me with.
As a senior in high school, I began taking judo with Sensei Tanaka and loved it so much I stayed in the class my whole senior year. Tanaka’s class instilled confidence in me, taught me respect, and motivated me to keep active. I was honored to be at the ceremony that presented Tanaka with his 8th degree black belt and was proud to know that our college had won such a large number of awards in division meets. I never thought back in 2008 that Tanaka’s class would be cut and probably wouldn’t have believed it if I had been told back then.
Although I do not speak much about it, I have struggled with serious depression for much of my teen years and all my adult life. To be able to take classes on campus and force myself to work out when I don’t even want to get out of bed has been extremely beneficial to my health, both mentally and physically. I can personally thank Coach Marks, Coach Borchert, Coach Cardinal, and Coach Pearson-Bloom for being such excellent teachers and inspiring me to go above and beyond when it comes to physical education, for believing in me when I did not believe in myself.
The British Journal of Psychiatry published a study in 2010 in which participants were asked a series of questions relating to their level of physical activity. The study found that individuals who stuck to a regular routine were less likely to be depressed than those who did not practice regular exercise. If you go to Google and type in depression and exercise in the search bar you will be overwhelmed with myriad of similar results strengthening the validity of exercise’s benefits, not only for body, but the mind as well.
College students are stressed out enough as it is with classes and fiscal concerns. To take away athletic program on campus is not only a step, but a leap in the wrong direction. The athletes and teachers were not given a chance to raise the money to keep their programs, and for Coach Marks and Coach Parrish, their jobs. The governing board members let the public know that the decision could be rescinded if enough money came in, but fundraising doesn’t always come easy, especially when those who must raise the funds did not know until the last minute.
“I don’t think cutting any kind of sports is the right answer,” said governing board member Phil McCaffrey during the Wednesday meeting. McCaffrey and Honeychurch were the only board members who voted to reject the cuts.
I may not be a member of a sports team on campus, but I stand firm and agree with McCaffrey whole-heartedly that cuts in physical education are NOT the right answer. Instead of spending our budget on exorbitant legal fees and unnecessary expenditures, we need to put the needs of our students and teachers first. We are the life and breath of this college, not a side note to be glanced at momentarily and tossed aside.