Give UAA the new sports complex that it needs and deserves

UAA needs a new sports complex.

There is no doubt about it, the facilities that the University has are a joke – for both the student-athletes and the average student.

It is unacceptable for the average student at UAA to be so incredibly restricted in the times and areas that they can go lift weights, shoot around a basketball or go for a run.

But, the situation is not really fair to the student-athletes at UAA. With most of the University’s sports doing so well, it seems unfair that the athletes have to cope with such limited facilities.

Sure, the facilities apparently get the job done. But, at some point there will be a definite need for new facilities. That time is now.

Since the teams really are doing so well, it is apparent that the coaches and players have done what they can with the facilities that they have been provided and have been successful, but that is no excuse to deny them an adequate sports facility.

The fact of the matter is, though, that the Wells Fargo Sports Complex was not designed to host this many athletes.

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Take the Title IX grievance that was filed against UAA in August 2008 into consideration. One of the specifics of the complaint was that access to locker-room facilities was not equal between male and female athletes. Ultimately, this was found to be true and as a result, new locker rooms were added within the both the male and female public locker rooms over the summer in 2009.

Though this is a relatively viable short-term option, it is a sign that UAA is in dire need of a new, larger sports complex.

Each team should be allotted its own locker room and possibly training room. Plus, it would give each sport its own practice facility that did not always have to be shared with the public.

Not that it is bad for the athletic programs to have to share some of their facilities with the public, but when they do it really does not end well for the public either.

A new sports complex should adequately reduce the competition for time and space in the Wells Fargo Sports Complex. Intramural sports could expand with more gym time available. Students would be allowed more access to the workout equipment in the current sports complex, thus improving student life around campus.

The addition of a new sports complex would further the success of the athletic programs and then the academic programs that UAA has to offer.

Look at any school with a successful athletic program. The students, staff, faculty and community take great pride in their school’s athletic programs. More students want to go to schools that have perennially strong athletic programs that are rich with tradition.

A strong, successful and nationally respected college typically couples strong athletic programs. Look at Notre Dame, Oklahoma, USC and many others like them. Their strong and respected academic programs are likely the result of a strong athletic department attracting more students, not just athletes. Schools like these are the ones that most people dream about going to.

A new sports complex would advance the University as much, if not more, than any other academic infrastructure that could possibly be incorporated.

Give us a new sports complex!