Creating opportunities

The case for adding another varsity men’s team at Ferris State

Ferris State may be known for its football, basketball and hockey programs, but could the school—and ultimately the students—benefit from one more varsity men’s program?

Within the athletics organization on campus, there are seven men’s sports programs, compared to eight women’s sports programs.

According to the athletic requirements for Title IX, a university can have uneven sports teams across sexes as long as opportunities are equal.

In determining if a school meets the Title IX athletic requirements, they can look at the compliance test to see if they meet the three criteria pieces of participation, athletics financial assistance and treatment.

A ratio of 52 percent females to 48 percent males on campus helps the participation aspect of things. With athletic funding being very similar on both sides of the coin and an overall athletics budget for the 2017 fiscal year, including scholarships, of $6,253,096, Ferris is in compliance with Title IX.

Should Ferris promote a club team up to the big leagues for the men’s athletic program?

Ferris once fielded a varsity baseball team, so why not bring back the program?

There are currently 15 total varsity baseball teams in the GLIAC and Ferris is one of just three conference schools without a baseball team.

When it comes to the wrestling club team, it’s a bit harder to make the case. Only four of the 15 total GLIAC programs have a
varsity wrestling team. However, there could be a possibility to branch out and play schools from other conferences.

For example, GVSU varsity women’s lacrosse plays non-GLIAC teams such as McKendree University out of Illinois in league play.

Another legitimate option for promotion to a varsity sport would be to promote the men’s soccer club team. With nine varsity men’s soccer teams in the GLIAC, there’s room for competition.

Students of these particular club programs would benefit from athletic scholarships. Taking some of the money budgeted to the athletic program and giving it to one more new sporting organization may decrease scholarship money for a particular sport, but it could also give another large number of students an opportunity.

College is all about opportunity, and creating more athletic programs could mean exactly that for some students.

Who knows? Maybe Ferris could have a varsity ping-pong team within the next ten years.