Note: This is the first article in a series of articles about Olympic programs our local universities should have. Next article we will evaluate the women’s Olympic programs at UCSD, USD and SDSU.
San Diego is America’s finest city. San Diego State University located about 15 to 20 minutes away from the beach and 15 minutes to the heart of downtown San Diego. San Diego is known for its beaches, for its weather and for some of its sports teams.
Yes, we all know that the Padres and Chargers are prone to the SD Choke curse. The three leading universities in San Diego, University of San Diego (USD), University California San Diego (UCSD) and San Diego State University (SDSU), are becoming more well-known for their sports programs.
Sports at San Diego State University have lately been on the rise. Five years ago SDSU’s men’s basketball team was a local brand, and now SDSU MBB are known nationally. The SDSU women’s basketball team has seen time playing in NCAA tournaments and have no problem recruiting coaches and athletes to San Diego. The SDSU football team made a complete 180 under the coaching of former Coach Brady Hoke. Hoke rekindled the “heart” of the Aztec culture and lead SDSU to its first bowl game in recent history. Now Coach Rocky Long progressing the program into future bowl games. San Diego State is recruiting the best athletes in the nation, and they are coming to San Diego to play for the Aztecs legendary coaching staff!
The chart below shows the wins and losses the top Aztecs sports have incurred the past five years.
San Diego is a prime location for many sports: spanning from swimming at the beaches; snowboarding/skiing in the local mountains; BMX/motocross in the local deserts; and more.
Watching the Olympic Games, some questions have popped into my head. All of the information given above about the San Diego climate types, universities and sports, led me to ask the following questions:
- Why does San Diego State not have a men’s swim-team?
- Why does San Diego State not have a men’s water polo team?
- Why does San Diego State not have a men’s track-team?
The answer to the questions listed above is straightforward: Title IX. Title IX was created to give women the same rights as men in the college sporting realm. This includes equal funding for men and women’s sports. Universities have had to end men’s teams because the budget was out of balance in favor of mens athletics. If men’s sports are receiving more money than women’s programs, the men’s programs will get cut to balance out the difference. For example, San Diego State was forced to cut its NCAA Champion Men’s Volleyball program because of Title IX.
Do not get me wrong, I am all for equal rights. Studying San Diego’s location, we have the best location for breeding Olympic Athletes. We have the weather, the facilities (Chula Vista Olympic Training Center), and the athletes. Take a moment out of your day to watch the Olympic men’s and women’s water polo teams. A majority of the teams attended Coronado High School and other local area high school’s. These athletes would have stayed in San Diego if we would have had a water polo program. The statement stays the same for the US Track & Field team. One out of every nine athletes on the US Track & Field team trained at the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center. In my mind, San Diego Universities clearly have the potential to win NCAA Championships and not only NCAA Championships but also International titles.
All of the leading San Diego Universities all have club sports. One of the popular club sports on the San Diego State campus is rugby, which made it all the way to the National Championship. The main difference between a club team and a university squad iss funding and equipment.
“Not a whole lot is given to [club sports], whether it is facility usage or funding, and yet they put in four days a week of practice, plus their events on the weekends, and they get out of it more than some varsity programs,” he said. “We have a handful of club sports that compete against varsity programs and actually beat them in that sport. That’s just a testament to how dedicated and hard working these players are.”
To obtain the funding for facilities, equipment and coaching, GVSU club athletes turn to fundraising in creative and often profitable ways. The club rowing team’s annual Rent-A-Rower program has been a huge success, and this year, many players from various GVSU teams will work as the set-up crew and security for the upcoming Mike Posner concert on Oct. 28 to raise money. www.gvsustudentlifesports.com
The major problem with the questions stated is above can be asked in another question: how do we get these athletes to the universities? The athletes would have to give up their dream of receiving a college scholarship. They would have to enroll in the university just like all of the normal students do. Athletes would have to take out loans. Knowing you will receive an outstanding education and a chance at becoming an Olympian.