Some issues just won’t go away. And for North Dakota, it seems that the announcement that UND is cutting its women’s hockey program is one of those issues some people just won’t let go of.
In response to UND President Mark Kennedy’s directive to cut $1.3 million from the school’s athletic budget, the school cut swimming and women’s hockey. The result has been disappointment, anger, and now pushback from those who, quite frankly, are steeped in emotion instead of logic.
According to numbers obtained by Rob Port at the SayAnything Blog, UND Women’s Hockey lost over $2 million last year. This isn’t chump change. But there’s an even larger issue at hand here. It wasn’t just the women’s hockey program that lost money. Not a single athletic program at UND was in the black. Every single one took a loss. Even the ever-popular and nationally known UND Men’s Hockey program.
Last I checked, these programs are supposed to be for student-athletes. Notice that "student" comes first in that relationship. The purpose of our schools of higher education is supposed to be… well… education. Now, that is not to say that these student-athletes don’t learn valuable lessons from their athletic programs. But that does not justify taxpayers subsidizing athletic programs that cannot break even.
I love sports. I have since I was a boy. But a little age has thankfully given me the ability to think a bit more rationally instead of emotionally. And rationale tells me that if these programs cannot sustain themselves, then they shouldn’t exist… none of them.
I understand people’s passion for athletics. But the reality is that it’s easy to want to keep something when you’re not the one paying for it. Something has to give and it shouldn’t have to be the taxpayers. Cut it. Cut it all.