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The Echo
Taylor University, Upland, IN
Friday, June 14, 2024
The Echo
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Athletic Decision leaves athletes frustrated

Women’s tennis players decide to transfer or stay

Tough times call for some tough measures.

One such measure was taken on March 10 when both the men’s and women’s tennis teams were cut as well as the brand new women’s lacrosse team. 

Interim President Paige Cunningham sent out an email to all students and all non-student employees on March 11 detailing the administration’s restructuring of the athletics department. 

Prior to the email, both tennis teams were called into a meeting with Vice President for Student Development Skip Trudeau and Athletics Director Kyle Gould. In the meeting, they were told their teams were being cut for budgetary reasons.

This meeting angered some members of the women’s team. Among them was sophomore Julia Hofmeister. Hofmeister said the meeting left her feeling unimportant or valued by the university. 

“I did not feel that we were treated as valued people, but as a small statistic that was easy to cut from a budget,” Hofmeister said. 

Hofmeister alleged that the athletics department hadn't done the best job communicating with teams. She said after their coach had left earlier this year, Gould and the Assistant Athletics Director had promised to put out a new application for the coaching position hopefully by the end of the semester.

The email sent out on March 11, also mentioned a new sports team. Taylor University had decided to sponsor a competitive cheer team. 

Just like the previous decision, this decision brought on some questions and compounded hurts among the women’s tennis team. 

Freshman Kiersten Martin said the decision doesn’t add up. Martin went on to say she felt the decision was unfair. 

Apart from allegations of dishonesty, Hofmeister said consistency in matters important to their season had been lacking.

“I had difficulty getting answers,” Hofmeister said. “If I did get information about where we were in the process of getting a new coach, it was not always in agreement with what other members of my team had been told.” 

Despite her hurt, Hofmeister has decided to stay at Taylor. She said there are more valuable things to her at Taylor than just athletics. 

For Martin, athletics are a big part of her life. She is looking forward to continuing her tennis career at Grace College in the Fall. 

Despite being cut, the team may still continue as a club team. 

However, a club team is not financially supported by the athletics department. In addition, the NAIA does not consider them to be intercollegiate athletes.

Hofmeister looks forward to the possibility of playing tennis on a club team.

She also looks forward to life returning to normal as well as returning to campus in August.