Who’s on First, and Where is Home?

Determination and comradery kept the Athletic Department together after suffering the loss of facilities and a season due to Hurricane Katrina.  Although no sport would be able to compete this season, Coach Robin Martin, the athletic director and head women’s basketball coach, advised athletes to remain in shape and continue vigorous routines.  Team members participated in early morning jogs and weight lifting sessions as advised and waited.  But the wait was over when Coach Martin declared the state of the athletic department for the upcoming season.

 

Hurricane Katrina’s wrath not only affected sports facilities, but also their budget.  At the last athletic department meeting Coach Martin announced that all sports except women’s and men’s basketball will not have a season next year.  However, Coach Martin said volleyball hung in the balance.

 

Vernice Richards, a senior women’s tennis player and psychology major, discussed how she was coping with the news.  “I sort of saw it coming because tennis is at the bottom of the sports hierarchy,” Richards said. She also said that the termination of the tennis team only takes away an extra curricular activity because, “I’m a student athlete, not an athletic student.”                              

 

Not all athletes spoke so light-heartedly about the matter.  Jerrard Smith-Hopkins, first semester sophomore chemistry major from Dallas, came into school under a tennis scholarship.  “The tennis scholarship is one of the major reasons I did come to Dillard, so I’d say I have a very, very, big problem,” Smith-Hopkins said.  “I have to find another avenue of generating money if I decide to stay here.”  Jerrard explained that the scholarship contract is renewable on an annual basis, so the department has no obligation to fund his education after this contracted year.  When asked about how the change will effect his time here at Dillard, Smith-Hopkins said, “It’s not going to be as enjoyable because I really did want to play tennis.”

 

Kael Saloy, a men’s basketball player and sophomore economics and finance major from New Orleans said he felt badly about the loss of his fellow athletes, especially the volleyball team. “The basketball team and the volleyball team were real close.” Saloy said.  “They really showed us what a team was about.”

 

Teams still gather to play on the courts of the Hilton Hotel Health Club.  Basketball definitely holds the first place title as most popular sport at Dillard University, but what place does that leave the other sports and when will they finally find there way back home to Dillard?  Coach Martin was unable to comment. Unfortunately, the cross-country and tennis teams have two outs, two strikes, and it is already the ninth inning.