Club sports struggle with funding, facilities

As a public school, Geneseo strives to provide students with a variety of athletic opportunities. According to director of intercollegiate athletics Michael Mooney, funding is at its lowest in decades with the athletic department receiving around $350,000 in allocations, although it costs around $2.5 million to operate.   

According to Mooney, club sports often take a hit in fees in order to support the department. Although club sports recognized by Student Association do receive funding, it's not always enough to cover the expenses.

There are 10 club sports teams that receive funding from SA: men's baseball, men's crew, men's tennis, men's volleyball, men's and women's rugby, coed ski, Ultimate Frisbee, women's ice hockey and cheerleading.

The teams funded by SA charge each player $5 to stay on the roster for the semester, and there are usually additional charges. The Ultimate Frisbee team charges each member $6 per semester, while the women's ice hockey team asks for $90 per player, as the team as a whole is charged $90 for every 50 minutes of time on the ice.    

Teams recognized by the college and the Student Association must also follow a set of guidelines, listed in the Club Sports Association (CSA) Constitution.

"Club sports have their own executive committee for giving out uniforms and equipment for all the teams," said Tyler Ocon, vice president of SA. "For anything other than uniforms and equipment, club sports come to the Student Association for funding. Any club sport that is recognized by the college can join the Club Sports Association on a one-year probationary basis. After that one year, they are eligible for a budget from Student Association."

"We got an increase from SA; they're not a problem," said Rachael Scott, president of the women's ice hockey team. "We're a college team; we're directly recognized by the college, but we still have to pay to use the athletic facilities."

According to Scott, the team is only able to practice for one session per week due to the cost. However, the $90 for the team is considerably less than the price outside organizations pay for ice time.

"We're trying to find ways to assist the students, but we're also limited by our resources," said Mooney.

According to Mooney, the college funds a number of athletic programs, including intramurals and trips like the recent white-water rafting trip to Letchworth State Park. Recreational skating, broomball, use of the pool and Kuhl Gym are also free to students.

"The cost that students chip in isn't fully covering the expenses," he said. "Fees made elsewhere pay for these expenses … we're kind of a small business."

Women's rugby has also raised the issue that they don't have a field to practice on.

"We're a real team that practices two hours a day," said junior Liz Felix, a member of the rugby team. "We're second in D2 and third in D3, and they still don't give us much money."

"We just don't have many places for all the people that want to use them," said Mooney. Sports like rugby and Frisbee would ruin the field. "The fields are hard to maintain … I can't even provide our varsity teams with enough fields."

News editor Amelia Stymacks contributed additional reporting to this article.