Redemptive Golf-team R.I.P.
My alma mater, UMBC, is headed to the NCAA division I basketball tournament for the first time. This is a very big deal for our very young Baltimore university.
I only mention it because the year I graduated, UMBC chose to take away funding from a handful of smaller Varsity programs–including the womens’ golf team I captained–in order to build up the mens’ basketball and lacrosse program. We were, of course, furious that they shut down our teams. We had all sorts of ideas of how we wanted to protest.
But the sad reality is that it was a good move, at least for the value of my degree. Investing money towards the higher-profiled mens teams could do more to make UMBC a familiar name than our already strong academic program ever could.
When I was in school, UMBC was known for its World Champion Chess team, the one that hysterically gave out full-ride scholarships in their recruitment. Now we’re a part of the weird American phenomenon that is March Madness. I guess the golf-team grave stones were redemptive after all. From death to first-ever NCAA berths.