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Let the university move forward, not backward again. Like Father Sullivan took us in the 60s
The real downside of D-I athletics comes after athletic success. After a championship or two, the boosters gain traction ... thats the way they want it to be. And they have money, and they apply pressure to continue that success. And thats where the corruption really starts. Yes, alumni contributions spike upward after athletic success ... but nearly all that goes into athletics programs and facilities: academic departments see nothing of that. And there is nothing so completely kept hidden as the monetary accounting around big-name D-I athletics schools, or as completely out of control as a D-I money sport coach and program thats won a championship.
Athletics are an important factor in many students lives and to be honoured with the title of now belonging to a Division I school has not only given them greater pride in SU but also given them a boost in their motivation towards being better athletes in their sport. I see no harm in that. As with many Division I schools, SU could also require that all athletes maintain a GPA of 3.2-3.5; no small feat but one that many students can maintain, probably already do. Ive never thought increased funding a negative no matter where it comes from or goes to; clearly all departments could do with financial boosts and if boosters increases the athletic department, then the funding that normally goes on could be re-directed to the academic departments where deemed needed. A strong athletic program always attracts more students, this is also a positive. Seattle University has many attributes, becoming Division I is just another. This is all good news.
SUs having a discussion about athletics/sports and its effect on the college is great. Seems to me this happened some time back and SU dropped out of competitive college sports for awhile. However, since then, womens sports have come more to the fore. I dont know what the right answer is. SU DOES need to be known for more than their prowess on the basketball court (and other playing surfaces). Being known for their academics is more important than being known for sports. Can there be a judicious both/and so that academics come out ahead of sports but sports are still a vital part of the universitys (students, staff, professors, parents/guardians, siblings, alumni/alumnae and the general public) public image? As in: yay theologians AND Redhawks!