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Problems Facing Sports Teams In Monmouth College And A Solution To The Problem

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High expectations and false hopes can take away a part of the college enthusiasm many student athletes have as they enter college at the end of summer. Monmouth College has fallen into a problem with sports teams and an overpopulated number of people that are allowed to be a part of the college team. The football team here has around a 100 people, the basketball team around 25 people, and the baseball team around 50 people. These teams should be kept to a number more reasonable. A total varsity number more like a division one school with lower level teams that are more structurally put together than the usual junior varsity team. The problem I am discussing is too many people on sports teams here. This problem gives false hope to many players looking for meaningful game time. I propose the athletic director create, with the help of a student organization, an unsponsored college “travel team” that will allow other players the chance to play at a competitive level without the false hope of playing on an overpopulated varsity NCAA college team. There are many solutions to fixing this problem at Monmouth College, but I believe this would be the most pro-active approach.

Possible solutions to this problem can be discussed at length but I will sum up a couple of the easier solutions. One of the easier solutions would be to limit the overall number of participants that play sports at school. Monmouth College could do this, but it would greatly decline the enrollment that the school depends on for money. Hundreds of students participate in NCAA sponsored sports at Monmouth College, and when the school is under 2,000 total students this would take away a large percentage of enrolment. Another possible solution would be to play everyone an equal amount of time on the school sponsored NCAA team. Although this is an option, it is not realistic when sports become so competitive at a higher level in college. Equal playing time would create opportunities for everyone to play and for everyone to see their hard work from practice pay off but the “equal playing time” concept is generally not accepted at a collegian level. These possible solutions could help the problem Monmouth College has, but they fall short of being a realistic possibility.

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The solution I am proposing for Monmouth College is feasible and would follow the outline of many other schools around the United States. My proposal is to follow the division 1 sports team make-up. This means having a NCAA college sponsored team with an 85 player max on the football team, a 15 player max for the basketball team and a 35 player max on the baseball team. With my proposal there will be less athletes on the NCAA team. To go along with the division one outline, Monmouth College could create an unsponsored college “travel” or “club” team that is run on a pay for play participation that still allows other people to play at a lower level against teams in the area, but it is funded by a student organization instead of Monmouth College. Many division one schools such as Illinois State University, Iowa University and Ball State University charge a fee of about $200 to play on a club team that still travels around to nearby schools and plays other club teams. This allows players that aren’t in the top level of play to still enjoy playing the sport that they choose without the daily grind of a NCAA sponsored team and the rigorous practices that do not pay off with game time. This would also help avoid the false hope of being a significant part of the official team. Another program that comes along with the Division one outline is the creation of an intramural league only with Monmouth College students. We do have intramurals here but with the added travel team level I am proposing intramurals could be virtually free for anyone that wants to play for fun. This is my proposal to fix the over populated numbers of Monmouth College sports teams.

With my proposal comes my opponent’s oppositions as well, which deserve to be considered just as fairly as my solution. They might propose that playing on a junior varsity team that is still officially part of the NCAA team is substantial enough for other players that want to continue playing. This option is legitimate and is what Monmouth College currently offers, but playing on junior varsity, you are still subject to the rigorous work load of the varsity team. With junior varsity viewed as taking a backseat to the varsity team, this could not always appeal to students that want to continue to play. To go along with the junior varsity idea, my opponents might propose a junior varsity team gives an opportunity for players to work their way up to varsity. This is true but usually this process takes years to accomplish and a lot of times players want to play right away and experience the real game feeling. Even though some players might make the time commitment of waiting their turn, they still might not ever get the chance of playing due to future underclassmen that outperform them. This shows another flaw of having to many people on the team and also waiting multiple years for a chance to play, which could be avoided if there were a club team to play for earlier on in the process. The last point I can imagine my opponents bringing up is, you don’t have to pay for travel expenses or game jerseys on a school sponsored team. This is true, but you do have to pay for other gear and clothes dealing with the team at Monmouth College, leading to an increased expense. If you play on a club level or intramural level team the extra necessities would not be a necessary purchase and at least if you do buy the extra gear you can be assured the expenses are worth it when you are having fun playing the sport you love.

Although there are many colleges that have this similar problem, I believe Monmouth College is a prime example of having an excessive number of people on their sports teams. Following this division one sports set up would better suit the students and college as a whole. With this plan in place I believe many people would be saved from the false assumptions of being a significant part of a sports team. This change in sports teams would result in more realistic view of a “team” and give opportunities for all levels of play.


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