While the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point continues to
validate its reputation as a Division III powerhouse, the increased focus on
our universities National Collegiate Athletic Association-certified athletics
has some students crying foul. More often than not, they say, NCAA sports are
given precedence over intramurals and club sports in practice times and the
use of on-campus facilities.
Ed Richmond, Head of Campus Activities and Recreation,
explained that this method of distribution has been standard for some time.
“There is a priority of use that was adopted a number of
years ago that listed academics as priority of use in the buildings, then
athletics, then intramurals and club sports, so that’s sort of the pecking
order,” said Richmond.
To some however, this reasoning is insufficient. Brian
Schmidt, a senior and head of the UWSP Men’s Soccer Club, is unhappy with the
way space is utilized among the university’s club sports, NCAA-certified sports
“My main grievance is our lack of gym time and space,”
Schmidt said. “We are often pushed in to the early morning hours, sometimes as
early as 1 or 2 A.M., and this practice schedule can make it very difficult to
stay on top of things academically.”
Similarly, Schmidt believes that the Men’s Soccer Club, as
well as many other club sports, would greatly benefit if NCAA-certified athletics were not given precedence to use on-campus
“If more gym times were available during the week, instead
of athletics always getting it Monday through Friday, we would be able to hold
practices at more reasonable times and in turn be more effective as a club and
probably have more new members joining,” said Schmidt.
Richmond recognizes these flaws, attributing them to a lack
“Over the years, we’ve worked in that priority-of-use order,
and we’ve had to follow that, so what we’ve tried to do is maximize the space
as much as possible,” said Richmond. “The big thing is our programs have been
growing, so now we’re at the point where our facilities are no longer
According to Richmond, UWSP is currently exploring several
options to alleviate such conflicts in the future, one being the possible
addition of a new health and wellness facility.
“A study was completed in October 2011, and what that study
showed is that we have a lack of recreation and fitness space, and if we want
to move forward, we may have to possibly build another area to make up for that
lost space,” said Richmond.
Though this issue is pressing to some, others believe that
the current system is functioning fine.
Mitch Klapper, a senior linebacker for the UWSP football
team, believes that NCCA-certified sports should take precedence over club
sports but acknowledges that club sports are still very relevant to the
“I feel that NCAA athletics should take precedence over club
sports when it comes to practice, scheduling and event planning because they
are varsity sports,” Klapper said. “Other than that, club sports are a great
thing and very competitive at the division III level.”
Kim Jobke, a forward for the UWSP Women’s soccer team,
shares a similar outlook.
“I think club sports should be treated just as well as
NCAA-certified sports because it is still a commitment, and they are still
affiliated with the school, but the fact of the matter is that at times one may
have to take precedence over the other,” said Jobke. “Our NCAA-certified sports
are what bring money into the school and why a lot of students come to Point.
Plus, there are stricter conditions and regulations around these sports. I
think it goes both ways, and the school should try to figure out a way to make
each as fair as possible within reason.”
“In these types of situations, students are always the
first priority. If you want to have an athletic program, then you have to have
the space to support that program,” said Richmond.