Why stop here? With the addition of some new sports on campus, the University of La Verne should expand and insert even more sports, like wrestling.
This year, the University increased athletic opportunities by adding aquatic sports. Water polo, swimming and diving are fantastic steps the school accomplished for more depth in our sports program. However, school officials should not pat themselves on the back too soon.
Last fall, head coach Tim Hugar led the men’s water polo team to a second place finish in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC). Because of the team’s season performance, it looked as if the program has been years in the running.
Swimming and diving has been setting many individual accomplishments, while women’s water polo begins this season and wishes to have much success.
From all the new sports, the school has obtained around 50 athletes, give or take a few who were planning to come here anyway. In any case, adding the sports has been good for the the La Verne community.
The campus is small, but it is slowly expanding. The Barkley Building, home of the Education Department, was completed last month and is in use. A parking lot is being constructed near the Oaks to bring an ease to that problem. The point is that our school is expanding, so the phrase “no room” cannot be used as an excuse.
For wrestling, there is no need to build anything new for the sport. For instance, the University assisted in building the swimming pool at Las Flores Park. The only thing one needs for wrestling is a mat and uniforms.
Do not be mistaken. “Professional” wrestling, which is seen on television, should be kept on television. Wrestling is the sport that has been mocked by some for the “tights,” properly called singlets, the wrestlers wear. At the same time, wrestling is heavily admired.
For people who are familiar with this sport, national powerhouses such as Iowa, Oklahoma State, Iowa State and Arizona State come to mind because of their dominance at the Division I level. If La Verne had a wrestling program, they would not be able to compete with those schools-at least not right away. Division III wrestling does exist, although not in SCIAC or in California, in which the University competes.
Other SCIAC schools do not have wrestling, even as a club, but that does not exclude the possibility of bringing the sport into the conference.
But then again, who needs to be apart of a conference? Men’s volleyball does not have a regular conference schedule. They play whomever they can and try to capture a national title. Wrestling can be the same. People enjoy one-on-one competitiveness, different from team-style sports.
Other sports should and can be held here. Rugby and fencing will also attract student athletes to our school. Last year, students tried to build a rugby club but failed. ULV should have given more support other than just allowing a sign up sheet to sit at the Student Center desk.
This is not a complaint. It is merely a suggestion. Students appreciate the new additions to the school and the victories and recognition that accompany those sports brought to the University by the programs.
We should have as many sports as possible for students who attend ULV. They also serve as opportunities to bring local, state and maybe even national attention to our school.
Damien Alarcon, a junior journalism major, is sports editor of the Campus Times. He can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.