Teams that didn’t make the cut

Of the 12 total collegiate sports offered by the athletics department, only half are offered to both men and women.
Other traditional collegiate sports, like men’s swimming and volleyball and women’s golf and wrestling aren’t offered at all.
“I feel like if we have a men’s golf team we should have a women’s golf team, simple as that,” said junior and sports fan Andrew Shearer in an email interview. “We compete every year for championships in men’s, yet we can’t even have a women’s team?”
A number of factors contribute to these sports not being offered.
Dave Walters, sports information director and assistant director of athletics, cites the main factor as a lack of interest. If there were substantial interest in adding a certain sport, the athletics department would have probably already added them.
“A group of students would need to demonstrate a sustained interest in forming a new team and communicate its desire for varsity status to the athletics director,” Walters said in an email interview.
However, Director of the Friends Center and Campus Ministry Coordinator Max Carter feels there are other factors that lie outside a simple lack of interest.
“Follow the money; it’s all about the budget,” Carter said in an email interview.
A Nov. 2011 letter entitled “Budget Process for Fiscal Year 2012-2013” released by the college mirrors Carter’s statement.
“The primary challenge for Guilford College is to raise sufficient revenues for funding … high quality student services and athletic programs,” the letter said.
One might assume that the school’s Quaker values would be a factor in choosing which sports to offer. However, that is not the case.
“If one looks back into Guilford’s history, when its faculty, trustees, and students were overwhelmingly Quaker, one will see that sports such as football and baseball — which in earlier times was considered a rough sport — were offered and were popular,” said Carter.
Yet, for the sports previously mentioned, it all boils down to the Old Dominion Athletic Conference itself.
According to the ODAC website, a combined total of 15 sports are offered, which branch off into either men’s or women’s sports.
Of the sports mentioned above — men’s volleyball and swimming, women’s golf and collegiate wrestling — only women’s golf is offered as part of the conference. The rest aren’t available for student participation, at least not at a varsity, conference-sponsored level.
This is not to say that some of these sports were never offered at Guilford. Walters said that in the ’60s, the school did have a wrestling team, and there was even a field hockey team for a short stint in the ’70s.
There is also a chance that they could once again be introduced. It is all a matter of student interest as well as budgetary and conference availability.
In the last decade alone, softball, women’s swimming, cross-country, and track and field have been added.
“I don’t think it’s so much a matter of what sports are played — with the exception of ones that do, in fact, glorify violence — as what the goal of the competition is and how well they build student character,” said Carter.