I read the column by Jenn Sefardis titled ?Recent snowfall a factor in sofball?s cold start to season? in the April 5 issue of the CT with a mix of support and confusion. I support her assertion that the athletic department has been tremendously supportive of its athletes. I support her notion that athletic administration has been tremendously supportive during this strange ?spring? that we?ve had.
What I don?t support is the idea that university administration hasn?t been responsive to athletic department needs. Before I go further, I don?t say this because I am on staff as a head volleyball and assistant track coach. I?ve not been told to tow the company line. I say this because the frustration exhibited in her column ? and the thoughts of many athletes that I speak to ? aren?t based on fact.
This was my first year here at UR. I came because I believed that the university truly wanted to change the attitude about its athletic department-by updating its facilities, hiring qualified coaches and recruiting motivated student-athletes.
I still believe that.
The spending of that $14 million dollars that is so casually mentioned had to be approved by more than one person. While it?s true that Director of Sports and Recreation George VanderZwaag championed the effort to update the facilities, university administration approved the spending.
What confused me about the column is where the snow was supposed to go. If they shovel the snow on the track, then track can?t compete.
As it is, the men?s head track coach spent three days shoveling the ice mounds that formed from the previous plowing and shoveling.
The men?s and women?s track teams also cancelled one meet and postponed another. There is no easy solution that will accommodate everyone and make everyone happy.
I understand the frustration with not being able to compete due to adverse weather conditions ? the members of the track, softball and baseball teams are dealing with that as well. Everyone needs to remember that everything cannot ? and cannot be expected to ? be solved in one year.
The improvements that the general student population as well as student athletes received in this wonderful athletic complex are substantial. Student-athletes ? don?t just complain about what?s wrong with the system.
You have an administration that is willing to listen to your needs. Maybe they won?t be able to solve every problem or complexity that you approach them with, but at least you have done all that you can do.
Complaining is useless unless you complain to the right people. And when you talk to them, have proposals of what you think would alleviate whatever problem that you have. Be clear, precise, and logical with your thoughts and the way you express yourself.
Whether it?s athletic administration or university administration, their purpose is to do what?s best for you ? but they won?t know your needs until you tell them.
? Dawn KellyWomen?s Volleyball Coach