We Need More Women's Soccer?
The sport of soccer is taking the country by storm. Whether being played on beaches, in parking lots, in alleyways, or on regulation "pitches," soccer has finally been embraced by Americans of all ages. More specifically, women's soccer has soared to new levels in the past fifteen years. "Women's [college] soccer is riding an expansion boom that shows little sign of letting up. By 2004, there will probably be more Division I women's programs than men's programs" (Kennedy 9). Unfortunately, our college is not riding this wave of success because women's soccer is not offered as a varsity sport. Our college should wake up and start making plans to add soccer, the world's most popular sport, to its women's varsity athletic program.
Some people may argue that it would cost too much money to add women's soccer at Our College; students could possibly see a rise in their quarterly athletic fees. Without question no one wants to see fees go up, but according to Clint Bryant, Athletic Director at Our College, athletic fees see a minimal increase every few years whether a new sport is added or not. This increase occurs because, like everything else, it takes more and more money every year to support the varsity teams. Also, there are approximately 5,000 students at Our College who are already paying $43 a quarter in athletic fees. If the minimal sum of $1 were added to each student's athletic fee, this increase would result in at least $15, 000 a year, which could be used to add women's soccer.
Another reason some people may not want women's soccer at Our College is lack of fan support. Why add yet another women's sport when the five we already have-basketball, cross-country, softball, tennis, and volleyball-aren't adequately supported? Lack of fan support has always been a factor in women's athletics at all levels and will probably continue to be. Nevertheless, the athletes compete just as hard and with the same amount of determination and intensity whether there are five or 5,000 people in the stand. It's not as if the athletes are totally oblivious and don't care, but the audience is not going to affect their style of play. Women have been playing to audiences solely made up of moms and dads their entire lives. The number of people in the stand doesn't matter. All the athletes want is a chance to compete.
Furthermore, the perception may be that it is difficult to add a new sport at Our College. However, as Clint Bryant states, "There are several factors to consider before adding a varsity team: popularity, trends in society, interest at the school, success at the club level, and cost." Any doubters as to the popularity or "trend" of women's soccer should just pick up a soccer magazine and read. "While participation by boys at the high school level has almost doubled since 1979, growth in girls soccer has seen a dramatic sevenfold increase" (Kennedy 9). In...