Joseph Hanretty, Contributing Writer
I realize that my column is supposed to be about sports that surpass University of Dallas sports in popularity (a category which includes basically all of them), but I have kindly been asked to address the lack of logic in the athletic department. My good friend Jake Loel came to me a few days ago and sternly told me that he has grown slightly frustrated by the incompetence of said athletic department. In particular, he said that we should be more proactive in making the athletic programs attractive to the student body as a whole.
As of right now, we have a men’s lacrosse team that was forced to forfeit a season and a golf team that is an absolute joke. These facts force me to ask the university one simple question: Why not give swimming a chance? I have met many students here who have had to stop swimming when they came here because no such program existed. In comparison to the risks associated with keeping the lacrosse team around, there are many potential upsides to adding a swimming team.
One big reason that our administration should consider it is the price issue. Swimming requires humans, speedos and an extremely small budget to rent out a local school’s pool. Renting out another school’s pool for practices and meets is actually a common practice for Division I schools. We are merely Division III, so it should not be a problem.
Jake added the following intriguing observation: “Swimming is a sport that requires a lifelong commitment and practice. Once someone has put in a particular amount of time and that person wishes to continue to enjoy that effort put in, it simply cannot just stop. The combinations of muscles used in swimming are far different than almost all other sports.”
Taking a four-year hiatus to attend a school that is blindly ignoring an “unpopular” opportunity to save money and attract more students is a huge sacrifice.
Personally, I am not really that interested in the sport of swimming, but there are plenty on this campus who are. This university has given the runners a chance. There should likewise be a strong argument backing the swimmers. However, this will not happen because of an article in a newspaper that barely reaches the eyes of the undergraduates. Rather, I suggest that there be an on-campus poll in Haggar foyer. This would be the most effective way of propagating and testing the idea. For those who do read this, I hope you agree with your fellow student Jake Loel. It’s time to give swimming a chance, UD!