Budget cuts have hit Olivet Nazarene University hard this year. The money supply to every department has decreased dramatically. The athletic department has felt these cuts in the biggest way possible. With the budget cuts being made, there will be few sports teams left at Olivet.
The sports teams still being funded will be: wrestling, boxing, corn hole, slacklining and women’s golf.
Athletic Director Barry Bell said, “I am sad about these financial decisions made by Olivet, but I think it will be good for these five sports. Their hard work will finally be seen, and they will receive the credit they deserve for being the best sports, and now only sports on campus. “
Athletes in other sports are now worried about how they will continue their education here at Olivet. Their scholarships have been taken away and they will now have to find another way to pay for their education.
“Now, all athletes need to find jobs and that is not fair. We all had our sport and to us those were our jobs. I just do not understand why Olivet would completely cut funding to their sports teams,” women’s basketball team captain Beth Clark said.
Job hunting has begun by many former athletes on campus and it is a tight race. Many jobs are already taken by non-athlete students, so the minimal jobs left are being snatched up quickly.
The athletes in the five sports that are staying on campus are excited that they get to continue their athletic careers. The wrestling team has many big tournaments coming up, and they were worried they would not be able to bring the big titles home to Olivet if their team were to get cut.
Wrestling team captain Derek Fields said, “I am beyond excited to continue my wrestling career here at Olivet. I am so happy the financial department finally saw how great of a wrestling program we have and are going to continue to fund our team.”
The boxing team is in the same boat. They have many big matches headed their way and they need to maintain focus going into those events.
“The team is very important to me, but also important to the boys. They have truly become a family and I am happy that the financial department sees that. We were worried about our team being cut, but we still need to keep our eyes on the prize no matter what happened,” head coach Frank Gates said.
The men and women’s corn hole teams are surprisingly one of the best sports here on campus. The team competes in singles and doubles play. In doubles play the teams can be both males, both females, or one male and one female. This is the only team that has this diversity on campus. They are happy it is recognized.
“I am sad to see the other sports go, but I am more than excited to continue doing the sport I love,” junior Frank Taylor said. “I feel, the corn hole team is very under-appreciated even though we have brought big titles back to Olivet. With few sports teams left, I hope to have more of a crowd at our next corn hole competition.”
The slacklining team is a new addition to the Olivet athletic family, but it is one many students come to watch.
Head athletic financial advisor John Smith said, “I really enjoy watching the slacklining team, so I decided it would be in my best interest to keep the team and the entertainment. They have created a lot of revenue for the university, so I felt this team was a need to keep here on campus.”
The slacklining team has competed in many competitions already against some of the best universities in the nation. They have done well and held their own for only being a team on campus for five months. They hope to grow as a team and entertain even more Olivet students.
The women’s golf team is the last team to not receive any cuts, and the coach could not be more thrilled.
Head coach of the women’s golf team Robert Mills said, “These girls have worked hard for so many years and I am so happy they are finally getting the recognition they deserve. We have the best 13 women on campus on this team.”
The Tigers have been working hard to bring the Olivet students the best season yet. They will stop at nothing to show the financial department that they have made the right decision.
The financial cuts have been hard for everyone, but if we keep moving forward and support our five sports teams, they will be unstoppable.
—Sarah Ortman, staff writer