This is very disappointing news: on Monday all Club Sports (26 teams representing 960 rostered BC undergrads - as of March 2020) learned their fall semester season canceled. Even more distressing: they were told none of their coaches contracts would be renewed. Following this Zoom call with Club Officers, BC Campus Recreation had a Zoom call with the 100 or so paid coaches to let them know their contracts were not renewing.
I don’t think any Club Sport athlete expected to be practicing with their teammates next week, or even in September. But the feeling has been that the Football team’s success managing almost zero positive cases was a template for Club Sports to resume in a month or 2. And I don’t believe any Club Sports team expected to compete anywhere this fall (travel not happening), but the ability to meet and practice was something these 1000 or so undergrads wanted in some shape/form. In fact, I know my son’s team had plans to practice in small groups of 8 men only. These student athletes take the Covid threat to heart, and had spent significant time this summer drafting good plans to work out together - in small groups. The staffer who delivered this news also made no promises for spring semester.
Canceling coaches contracts (again 100 or more professionals who are not BC staffers, but are paid by BC on an annual basis) puts the entire year in limbo as many of these women and men will seek work elsewhere… now, of course, they may not find coaching gigs right now, but who knows?
The Connell Rec Center is open for workouts, but capped at only 200 or so users at a time. Students must make appointments in advance. And the new green space (site of the old Plex) is fenced off from use, so students can’t access the fresh air space of this large Lower Campus footprint for frisbee or any fun socially distant activity.
It all feels like a bait & switch because First Year Experience and Campus Recreation had each Club Sport spend time this summer presenting their team to incoming students via Zoom and Instagram. They were told to recruit first year students. Also, each Officer group had to submit budgets, chartering documents, and other work that really should have been postponed if BC was planning to pull the plug. Way to waste people’s time!
FYI, Club Sports charge fees to rostered athletes to help pay for some of the costs of the program. Financial Aid to cover these fees has always been available, so no BC student is ever in a position to not join a Club Sports team if they didn’t have the $ to do so. Also, many of these teams have organized sport specific alumni associations that give back and help defer costs too. These donors can be quite generous: in fact, here in Houston, one of my fellow BC alums gives only to his Club Sport Rugby alumni association to the tune of 5 figures annually.
What really bugs me as a parent of a Club Sports athlete is the lack of creativity here: if Campus Recreation (falls under Athletics) knew they did not have $ for coaches in late August, they probably knew this in June… and the Athletics Development/Advancement team (a well staffed group that saw no layoffs) might have considered reaching out to Alums and parents to specifically fund stipends for these Club Sports coaches for 20/21. Many of us would have contributed - to keep these trained pros ready to coach when Club Sports resumed.
It just isn’t healthy to cut off these teams like this - we all know exercise is good for the mind and body - and attending college during a pandemic requires good health & healthy habits.
Here is a link outlining BC’s Club Sports programs: https://www.bc.edu/bc-web/offices/rec/sports/club-sports.html