Club Sports in Planning Stages

Matt Ciepielowski

Rumors of Quinnipiac’s imminent addition of club sports have been greatly exaggerated–in fact, it has yet to be guaranteed at all.
“We’re in the process of investigating what club sports will look like at Quinnipiac and how we can move forward,” said Daniel Brown, the Director of the Student Center and Student Leadership Development. “We’re not guaranteeing that we’re necessarily going to have club sports.”
The possibility of adding club sports was brought up by the president’s cabinet due to high demand by students.
“My goal is to try to put the things together, give it to the vice-president of student affairs and the cabinet, have a proposal together mid-year so that if we do want to move forward and we have to hire additional personnel to do that, we could do that in the spring,” Brown said. “The process of adding club sports could begin probably fall of 2010.”
Most students were disappointed, but not surprised, that it would take that long for club sports to be added.
“It doesn’t really surprise me–everything here moves slowly,” sophomore Victor Nieves said. “Too many people’s voices are involved in everything.”
Justin Schneider, also a Quinnipiac sophomore, was upset by the news.
“They don’t really care about making things better for the students here,” Schneider said. “They just focus on things that make Quinnipiac go up in the rankings, or make the campus look better.”
There is a lot of organizing that must be done before club sports can begin, however. Even the rules for what clubs can be recognized must be altered. As of right now, one of the University’s rules for establishing an organization reads, “Quinnipiac University will not recognize any clubs which involves gambling or intercollegiate competition.”
Putting together club teams is also made difficult by the fact that there is no NCAA-like organization governing them. Each sport has its own club organization, so the administration must deal with all of them separately.
Brown said that the level of competition for club sports would be somewhere between that of intramural and varsity. Not everyone would necessarily be guaranteed a spot on a club team. Each team would be free to have tryouts to select team members.
Regardless of when club sports may actually begin, they would represent a significant addition at Quinnipiac, which has never had any in its entire history.
There would likely be quite a bit of expense placed on students who played club sports. Brown said, “The students are going to probably be responsible for their own registration fees, their own equipment. There’s going to be a heavy expense placed on the students. The university will still underwrite a huge part of it, but there’s just no way we’d be able to afford to underwrite the whole thing. That is pretty common amongst other club sports.”
Sal Rizza, assistant director of Student Life at Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU), said that the average cost per year of a club sports team was between $12,000 and $15,000 a year. But even with that cost, SCSU used to pay for nearly all of the students’ expenses. That is changing however, as they now have ten club teams, with proposals for three more being reviewed.
“When we had fewer teams, the university funded almost all needs for club sports programs,” Rizza said. “But clubs are becoming more independent as more are added.”
As all expenses do, this struck a nerve among students.
“Maybe they should spend less money on renovation and bobcat statues,” Nieves said. “Then they could pay for club sports.”