With NCAA, Flagler looks at adding new sports

By Lindsey Williams | gargoyle@flagler.edu

We’ve got basketball, baseball, volleyball, golf, tennis, soccer and cross country, but apparently that’s not enough.

The construction of a new student center, among other projects, is one physical sign that Flagler College is undergoing change.

Speculation of giving Flagler’s athletic department a facelift would create another entirely new look for the college. This might also include programs such as a women’s fast pitch softball team, crew and even a swim team, if rumors are to be believed.

Although the prospect of a women’s fast pitch softball team appears more concrete, a crew and swim team remain speculation.

But even if merely hearsay, what would these additions mean for Flagler’s student body?

“It won’t hurt Flagler’s image by any means,” Flagler senior Shaun Devine said. “It can only be positive in terms of recruiting and the athletic image of Flagler.”

Changing the landscape of Flagler’s athletics affects more than just a roster of games students can attend.
With the addition of new programs comes the decision of what to do with the existing programs to make room for the new. Where will funding for the newly proposed teams come from?

Would the funding come privately from the pocket of special donors? Would funding for already existing programs be cut equally or unequally in order for there to be available funds for new programs? If unequally, what teams get the most cuts?

Or would this be yet another reason to raise tuition? If so, what certainties would reassure that investment?
What is the purpose of adding new athletic programs? What value does Flagler see in adding these teams, and why these particular programs?

On softball, it is likely the entry into NCAA Div. II and Title IX requirements that must be met that has led to this talk.

But regardless of the rationale, as Flagler moves in new directions with its athletics program and under the NCAA, all of these questions should be reviewed carefully before any decisions on future teams are made.

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