Kalamazoo, MI
one-hundred-forty Years of Service to the Student

You have to earn it

5 Comments on You have to earn it

  1. Caroline Michniak // April 27, 2011 at 10:47 AM // Reply

    Unfortunately it is incorrect to cite the three males that help out the Women’s Lacrosse team as our coaches. Our multiple female senior captains in fact act as our coaches. The men that are apart of our team give great insight and input but are not our coaches. Our senior captains, who are experienced in the game, most playing in high school do a great job of introducing the game to many females on campus. The lack of coaching, actually shows how dedicated the lacrosse women are to the team because it is purely student run. Our captains juggle the logistics of a club team along with the many stresses at K like school, SIPs, work and long term career plans. This goes also for the Women’s and Men’s teams who are also student run, like Ultimate Frisbee. If the argument that there is a lack of “dedication” on club teams is one of the main reasons why we are not represented and why we have not “earned it”; please talk to any one of these senior leaders and I am sure that they will tell you otherwise.

  2. Aidan Brawn // April 27, 2011 at 1:05 PM // Reply

    “Being an intercollegiate student-athlete requires many things: dedication to the team, hard work in practice, and a modicum of skill that coaches recognize. You have to be willing to put in hours of work every day, not just in-season, but also out of season and in the summer.”

    Agreed. To be a capable athlete one must be more focused than is asked of them by the basic requirements of a team. Practice must occur year-round; otherwise one will not improve to the necessary level for whatever sport they play. Actions that are a detriment to the team should be punished and cannot be allowed to continue. Varsity student-athletes must be admired for their adherence to these requirements. This is all true, and well spoken.

    “Club sports, though, have to use only what they have at hand. Their discipline and practice plan is more lax and less demanding, they don’t practice (often) in the off season and any player can just walk on. They don’t have professional coaches, and if they have one at all, it is normally a fellow student”

    Yes, club sports are forced to use only what they have at hand, which, here, is a very meager amount of resources. It is already limited gym time in the winter that is frequently pushed aside or sometimes even completely disregarded for varsity and intramural sports. It is an incredibly minimal budget allotted only due to the graciousness of Student Commissions, and they give these teams what money they can despite the fact that it is nowhere near enough to fund a team. Practices in the off-season are infrequent as much due to their impossibility as any other reason. Coaches are paid by the school, and therefore not an option for club sports. The very requirements that are obviously necessary for a team to be a varsity sport are impossible for club sports exactly due to their club status. This means that unless a radical change or a massive influx in the budget of the school occurs, they will remain club teams.

    But rather than provoking a heated debate for varsity consideration or a dejected disbanding of the club teams, this provokes a quiet dedication and determination by each and every student-athlete on these teams. As stated in the previous comment, coaches are brave and responsible students that take charge and willingly accept the responsibilities of logistics, organization, and teaching that come with being coach. They schedule games, they front money for requirements such as hotels and tournament bids, and they dedicate themselves to teaching each and every member of the team everything that they possibly can while at the same time trying to improve themselves. The money for these teams comes primarily from the students themselves, and they take responsibility for transportation, equipment and all the other requirements that, to the best of my knowledge, for the most part are provided for the varsity teams. In no way am I suggesting that if these requirements were placed on varsity athletes that they would not make these same sacrifices. However, the club athletes have to, and that should be recognized and admired. Also, the willingness to accept players of any skill level and work as a cohesive body to teach each player equally, as well as remain a competitive force against their opponents, is admirable, and not an example of their lack of equivalence to varsity sports as a club team.
    The varsity sports will always be more regimented, and they will likely always be more physically and mentally demanding. They require dedication that should be admired by the community and as teams the community should support them more than it does. However, I would argue that this dedication is equal in club teams, though it may be present in different areas. These students deserve support and recognition, including coverage by The Index, which serves to provide information to the entire K College community and should reflect the interests of the people. It seems that the coverage of sports should be increased, both in size and in the range of sports that are covered. As long as it remains as small as it is the club sports should be considered and included because the inequality is not between the varsity and club teams, it is in the treatment of these teams.

  3. Mike Walsh // April 27, 2011 at 2:15 PM // Reply

    Stories about club teams, such as women’s lacrosse, should take up more space in the Index than do the NCAA sanctioned sports. If Mr. Vaughn cannot find room on his page nor realize that these students have “earned”, by the fact that they must act as coach, manager, trainer, “bus driver”, etc., the right to have their stories published; then the Index staff should find a place to tell their stories. The Index does not limit stories about other student run organizations so give equal time to club sports. One final note to Mr. Vaughn: I traveled to Grand Rapids back on April 9th to watch the women’s lacrosse team compete in a 3-game tournament. Although all three games were lopsided losses, the K-College women held their heads high and hussled to the very last second. By the way, the 3rd game of the day was at Aquinas College (ranked #1 in their conference) which has a regulation lacrosse field, a coach who barked at his players, a trainer (who had to ice down many of our players), and a huge home crowd (they were actually tail-gating). I suggest this atmosphere would be the same as if the K-college football team were up against someone like Ohio State. So give club sports their due: Support them, Promote them, Advertise them, Recognize them. They will never be sanctioned by the NCAA if we ignore them.

  4. It appears that Aidan Brawn perfectly articulated everything I wanted to say.

    This debate is just ridiculous. Mr. Vaughn’s article was infuriating and condescending.

    It seems to me that a lot of our Club sports are higher ranked than our Varsity sports– and that is without the resources Jackson Vaughn lists as necessities.

    What if we started reporting on who is winning, not on who gets the most money spent on their team?

    The fact that Club sports do so well, with little help from the school, should not only be applauded, but should definitely be covered in the Index as well.

  5. Katie Weeks K'11 // May 4, 2011 at 12:54 PM // Reply

    This might be old news by now, but I wanted to point this out:

    This past weekend, both the Men’s (A-team) and Women’s Ultimate Frisbee teams competed in the Great Lakes DI-Regionals. Both teams, coached by fellow students, competed against DI schools like MSU, U of M, Northwestern, and other huge universities with resources far outranking our own, including paid coaches. The fact that both teams were able to firstly advance to regionals, and compete in a D-I conference should be celebrated by our small campus community.

    When Mr. Vaugn makes the sweeping statement that all NCAA teams should take precedence over club sports is appalling. With all due respect to the women’s softball team, they did not have enough players to field a team for a year, and are still struggling with their record, even this season. To assert that we should deny celebration of one team for another simply because they are not a college recognized team sport is ridiculous. Let’s celebrate everyone on campus and not create sweeping decisions unfit for our community.

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You have to earn it