It’s a raw deal


Gunter Klesit

Ally Hufner

VTSU President Parwinder Grewal and his administration have decided that we as a sports community are not good enough anymore.

What does that mean exactly?

It means that they are kicking us out of the NCAA Division III and placing us in the USCAA. This division only includes 72 schools, (soon 73) throughout 21 states. Going into this division also means that we will be losing the following sports, Men’s Volleyball, Men’s and Women’s Tennis, and Triathlon.

How unfair is that, especially to incoming students who have already put down their deposit to play these sports just for them to be eliminated in the incoming freshmen’s second year of competing?

And what about our current athletes in these sports who have fought and worked their butts off so they can play the sports they love?

Now we must just tell them that their work isn’t good enough? That is the example that our administration is setting.
While the Badgers get the boot, Lyndon, our rival school, stays in the NCAA, even though they have their own history of being on probation. It is not fair. Johnson dominates Lyndon in multiple different sporting events. So, what is the reason that we get pushed down but they get to stay the way they are?

At the Feb. 14 campus meeting, administration officials, especially VTSU athletic director Deanna Tyson, did not provide plausible reasons for why they are doing what they are doing. Instead, the president answered with “We hear you” and “Thank you for sharing.”

Okay, so they hear us, but why aren’t they listening?

What is surprising to me is how the administration cannot comprehend how much money they will lose from this new change.

A lot of the income that goes into this school comes from our athletes.

We have players coming from all over the country and even coming from outside of the country to play and be a Badger.
But now the university’s leadership is risking losing almost half of our athletes because they simply think we are not good enough anymore.

They do not believe in us anymore, so why would we stay?

All student-athletes at Johnson have worked their absolute hardest for their teams and that dedication is going unrecognized.

The students are sick of it. They say they are making these changes in the best interests of the students, but they obviously are not. Who here at Johnson were consulted? Our coaches? The students?

Eventually they are going to realize the mistake they seem intent on making.

Hopefully, they realize it before it is too late. Because even though they say that we should be grateful that we at least still have sports teams, they don’t realize that we will not be competing at the level that we signed up for and for which we were recruited.

The athletic community is a family here at Johnson, and it is now being torn apart by an administration that has no idea the effect that this is going to have. If they do, then it seems they just don’t care.

After all, it was said at the Feb. 14 meeting, we can always just transfer to Castleton or Lyndon if we don’t like it.
So much for being valued.

But with all the drama going down between our very own athletic department and this administration, the phenomenal recent successes of our athletes have been completely overlooked.

The men’s and women’s basketball team ended their season with victories against Lyndon, which is staying in the NCAA while our Badgers get kicked down to what is being called a glorified juco.

This win for both the basketball teams was much needed, especially considering the number of students that made the hour-long drive to support our Badgers.

Those wins were remarkable successes, especially considering that our women’s basketball team, which was struggling at the beginning of the season to have a complete team, pulled off enough wins to make it into the division tournament because of their fourth-place spot in their division.

What is even more impressive is that three of the players on the women’s basketball team were named in the NAC all conference awards.

Paris Atuahene was named First Team all-conference while placing second for total Versatility index of all NCAA D III Women’s Hoops; Gabby Wardwell- was named Third Team all-conference, and Devyn Thompson was named Sportsmanship Team all-conference.

On our men’s basketball team, Malik Moore was awarded the Sportsmanship Team award, and for a third time, Raymond Baka was named defensive player of the week.

Our Men’s volleyball team, even though their season has just started, is already 9-1 overall.

There was an assist record broken on the very first game they played. They are averaging 9.63 kills per game and have a hitting percentage of .256. They have a strong season ahead of them and they are already making themselves a force to be reckoned them, and they are already making themselves a force to be reckoned with.

The Softball team played their spring training games in Myrtle Beach to get prepared for regular season games.
Our track and field team are preparing for their upcoming meets.

Men’s tennis is starting up, and Men’s Volleyball continues to dominate.

And despite all of these developments, the administration intends to end our NCAA career, and with it, the hopes of many of us here at Johnson.

We deserve better.