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.

3 Responses to “Redemptive Golf-team R.I.P.”
  1. Pat Kotten says:

    I feel the need to comment on this. I watched the game on Saturday hoping that the sacrifice of those programs would be redeemed by a first ever NCAA berth. I know Randy Monroe to be a fine gentleman, and know that Dr. Brown fought for the golf program to be retained. I am happy for UMBC and their athletic program. I am sure that this season in Basketball will help recruitment to a school that has many wonderful coaches and most of al very dedicated student-athletes.

  2. Jenelle says:

    Coach Kotten,
    You are a good man. I am happy for UMBC, too. Even though you sacrificed two golf teams to that big decision in 2002, I trust you went on to bigger and better things.

    Even from a distance it is wild to see how much school spirit has been infused to the campus community since this big win.

    Maybe one day they’ll be able to bring back the golf programs, eh?

  3. thejoyyear says:

    It would be nice to say, I went to UMBC and not have people in New York shrug it off. Actually, it would be nice to stop lying, to avoid such shrug off, that I went to University of Maryland, omitting the Baltimore County part. The profound power of ESPN. I guess it’s worth the golf teams. (At least waited until you graduated.) I just wish more people followed chess, and national theater competitions.

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