My Position on CU Athletics
For many years, I have been a very strong proponent of athletics at the University of Colorado. Athletics — including opportunities for competitive and recreational activities — are key elements of the University’s ability to build a healthy community across a wide range of groups and demographics.
Athletics is an extraordinary vehicle for bringing people together who have diverse backgrounds and who then have the opportunity to learn so much about each other. Athletics can be an amazing vehicle to promote diversity and understanding.
One of the most important pieces of federal legislation passed in the last half century is Title IX. I especially am committed to seeing more funding for women’s sports along with a more active effort to make certain there are a plethora of well-funded opportunities for women to participate in athletics at every level.
Giving students the opportunity to participate on a team provides life lessons and long-term benefits which cannot be easily duplicated elsewhere, especially after graduation. For many, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Athletics also can offer lifelong health benefits which are enshrined in communities such as Boulder where so many national and international competitors reside.
And the emotional and mental health benefits of participating in activities at any level — from intercollegiate sports to physical fitness classes or individual exercising — can be extraordinarily beneficial to all members of the University. Given the physical and mental health so many students face today, and expansion of athletic activities on all four CU campuses could play a role in making students much healthier while on campus and in their lives following graduation.
Intercollegiate Athletics helps bring together the broader CU community within and beyond Colorado and serves as a key part of any major university’s educational outreach and fundraising efforts.
When the financial value of intercollegiate athletics is viewed from the perspective of revenue generated combined with donations to the University, athletics becomes a prominent net contributor to CU.
Athletics also create invaluable opportunities for connection which go far beyond dollar amounts. They also include research and other collaborative opportunities with participating conference institutions.
Specifically, by being in the PAC-12 Conference, CU has been able to establish mutually beneficial academic and research relationships with some of the nation’s leading institutions of Higher Education.
The health and welfare of all CU students always should paramount in the minds of educators. This includes the need to take obvious and hidden injuries from athletics very seriously. The University can and should significantly expand its leadership in researching as well as providing safe sporting opportunities. It’s time to make this an even higher priority than it is today.
Most of all, we should be looking to find ways to offer more (not fewer) athletic opportunities at all levels of sports and physical fitness so everyone can garner the benefits of participation.
As someone who has played a variety of sports his entire life and who continues to do so, I want to advance athletics at CU so all our teams can compete successfully and so all of our students can have highly accessible opportunities to participate at the intercollegiate, intramural, and recreational levels of their choice as well as have access to a world-class range of physical fitness opportunities.
A university’s job is to help feed the mind, spirit and body. Athletics can and should play crucial roles in achieving these objectives.