But according to the NCAA, there were any number of avenues short of program elimination available to the administration, which they chose to ignore. For example, there is a detailed procedure set up by the NCAA for teams to recover from low APR’s, yet our administration chose to deny our wrestlers the opportunity to recover. Furthermore, there is a grant funding program developed by the NCAA to give financial assistance to programs which fall below the minimum APR score. Rather than seek those grant funds to help its athletes, the EIU athletic administration chose instead to drop the program suddenly and without warning to the team and the coach. As I was told by a staff member from the NCAA, “It was never the intention of APR to be used to eliminate athletic teams, but rather as a tool to help improve retention and graduation in athletic teams.” Nonetheless the NCAA’s APR program has provided useful cover for the administration’s axe just as they tried to use Title IX before.
Let me state emphatically and without equivocation that I support the APR. Student-athletes go to college to earn a degree first; sports are secondary. This is especially true at a University such as Eastern Illinois University. But when your program has as few a number of scholarships as wrestling, it takes only a few individuals to penalize the program. Indeed, just one out of five will put the program in jeopardy—not a problem for teams with many scholarships but potentially problematic for teams with few. We have 3.8 scholarships to offer.
Perhaps most offensive and ethically indefensible is the administration’s timing of the decision to eliminate the program. The athletic administration allowed us to actively recruit and sign student-athletes to scholarships and national letters of intent on April 11, 2007. They killed the program knowing that just the night before I had received several verbal commitments from student-athletes that would have helped us both academically and on the mat. Either they made their decision on the spur of the moment or they knowingly let us make commitments to student-athletes that they knew would be empty ones. Either is unconscionable for a University
title IX is the biggest load of horse pucky. I am all for womens rights but honestly title nine hurts more than it helps in my opinion. It could be a good piece of legislation if they dropped the porportionality section of it, which states basically the percentage of women enrolled at a school must be equal too or greater than that of the student athletes. meaning if 51% of the school is women then 51% of the student athlete must be women. this causes a lot of problems for the smaller mens programs such as wrestling baseball swimming and soccer. the whole title IX situation really grinds my gears
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