I played on the softball team from 2007 until this past June when I graduated. I was at work on Jan. 23 at my job where I am the lead Graphic Designer and Head of the Art Department, when I heard news of the recent “budget cuts” of the SCAD Athletic Department — the baseball, volleyball and softball teams. I was dumbfounded, upset and angry all at one time.
The reason why I stated my title at my company is not to gloat but to help explain why Athletics at SCAD are so important. If it weren’t for SCAD having a softball team I would have never gone there, I would have never even heard of the school. I can not afford the tuition and softball offered a way of bettering myself. I wasn’t going to go to college before I found SCAD, I was just going to start working at a dead-end job and be stuck in the small town I’m from. Coach Knecht (Softball’s Head Coach) found me when I was a senior in high school and did everything in her power to get me into SCAD. She worked hard to get me in, and it wasn’t just me, she did the same every single girl that played under her. If it wasn’t for Coach Knecht and SCAD Softball, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.
Twenty-six hours a week was dedicated to softball (just practices). Softball was my job. It helped me pay for school and it was my job. During season and during travel time, my “part-time” job as a softball player, went from 26 hours to 40+ hours a week with travel and games. And I appreciate every second I spent playing and working out with the softball team. Being on a team forced me to learn time management, helped me work within a team environment, helped me become a leader and someone who will take the initiative.
Cutting those three teams is the worst decision that SCAD ever made. SCAD is the only Art and Design University in the nation that has a Varsity Athletics Department. SCAD should take pride in their uniqueness and try to grow as well-rounded school. Instead, they’re taking away beautiful opportunities for may kids like me, and making them choose between their passion for the arts and their passion for sports.