LAWRENCE< Kan. May 11. ON MAY 7, the Lawrence Journal-World published a staff-written editorial, arguing that the university should take the lead in designing intercollegiate athletics to save men's Olympic sports. Here's what the paper said: "KU should try to model a new organization for college athletics programs. "Kansas University Chancellor Robert Hemenway says he hopes to select a new KU athletics director by July 1. "With this in mind, it would seem wise to delay action on any new policies and personnel in the athletics department. The new director should not be handcuffed by decisions made in the final days of a changing athletics department administration. "For example, much has been said about adopting a new policy for reserved seats at basketball games in Allen Fieldhouse. Some in the athletics department have talked about adding substantial surcharges or requiring additional contributions to the Williams Fund from people who want to retain their favorable seating. This has caused considerable discussion among long-time ticketholders. The proposal comes at a time when university officials are gearing up for the public phase of a major capital campaign, and this one matter could become a public relations nightmare for the university. Any new seating plan should have the approval of the new athletics director. "Also, with the financial health of the department being such an issue, it would seem wise for the new athletics director to take another look at the university's overall intercollegiate program. "Athletics departments at most major universities seem to be having financial troubles. Various men's sports are being eliminated in order to fund enough women's athletics programs to meet the federal Title IX requirements for the number of women's sports in relation to the number of women students at a university. "Why not have KU become a leader in designing a new scheme for intercollegiate sports programs? Such a plan could have full athletic scholarships for the revenue-producing programs and probably for women's basketball, which is a financial loser. But for the other "Olympic" sports, why not run limited programs with reduced scholarships? Some sports could be retained as full intercollegiate programs while others were run more on a "club" basis. "These club programs could continue to have competition with teams from other universities but perhaps not on a nationwide scale. This would give a number of student athletes with a wide range of interests and abilities the chance to enjoy competing without incurring so much expense that it limits the number of teams KU can field. "Some way needs to be found to meet current fiscal restraints while still allowing more students to compete. The elimination of sports, as has been done recently at KU, is not the answer. More students — not fewer — need to be allowed to participate. "These are some opportunities, as well as challenges, for the new athletics director. It would place KU in the forefront of how to tackle today's problems in intercollegiate sports. It would win friends, rather than make enemies, for the university, and it would allow more students the opportunity to compete in a sound, well-financed athletics program." ---------------------------------------------------- Check out our featured Product !!!
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