Monday, May 12, 2008

An E-mail from VT Club Sports

I've received a few E-mails in response to my post about the men's lacrosse club team. However, one of them surprised me. Not because of what it said, but because of who it was from.

Virginia Tech's Assistant Director of Recreational Sports/Sport Clubs, Alan Glick, E-mailed to point out (justifiably so) that the post made it appear that if Tech added men's lacrosse as a varsity sport, the club team would go away. I touched briefly upon the notion that both teams could co-exist, but the tone of the article made it seem that the club team would be doomed if a varsity team arrived on campus. That was my error. I should have made it more clear that keeping the the club team was not just likely, but nearly guaranteed should Tech start a varsity lax team.

Below is Alan's letter, reprinted with his permission:

I read your very informative piece tonight on the men's club lacrosse program. As the sports club director, I'd just like to make a point that was not really addressed in your article. VT would not be in an "either/or" situation regarding having a club vs. a varsity men's lacrosse program.

My office advises and funds 29 sport clubs, including the men's lacrosse team. There are a number of sports at Tech that exist as both club and varsity (i.e. women's volleyball, women's lacrosse, baseball, men's & women's soccer, among others), there are some sports that exist as only club and not as varsity (i.e. men's lacrosse, bowling, clay target, water ski, crew, snow ski, among others) and there are some sports that exist only as varsity and not also as a club sport (i.e. football, women's volleyball, track & field, among others).

Even if the athletics dept. were to add men's lacrosse as a varsity sport sometime in the future, we (the Dept. of Recreational Sports) would continue to support/fund/advise a men's club lacrosse team. Any decisions made by the athletics dept. would not really impact our sports club program. Some of our students think that if athletics adds a new sport, that means that they will scoop up our club team (i.e. men's lacrosse or field hockey) and drop it into the athletics dept. Obviously, Jim Weaver would hire a coach and fund a new sport with a recruiting budget, etc ... maybe some of our club athletes would try to make the varsity roster, and probably many of them would be happy to continue to participate in the club version of the sport.

So, VT might one day have a varsity men's lacrosse program, but we will always have a club team as well. It's not an either/or situation- I'm not sure the average Hokie fan realizes this. It might not be that important in the scheme of things, but I did want to point that out. Our club team will always be a part of VT.

As far as additional varsity sports being added in the near future, the only sport that Jim Weaver has publicly stated will be added next is women's golf. Beyond that, he hasn't made any public statements. If you have any questions about our sports club program, just let me know.

Alan Glick

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