Trustees spot-on with new D-1 plan

by The Flor-Ala Staff

The university administration finally listened to students Monday during the quarterly board of trustees meeting. The trustees passed a resolution that finally protects students from the Division I transition they decided to enter the university into more than a year ago.

The resolution pushes back the transition by one year and will allow the university to better position itself before moving out of the Gulf South Conference and into a D-I conference.

First and foremost, Trustee Libby Jordan said it best when she said that she could support this particular resolution because it creates a division line between athletics fundraising and the general fundraising UNA already does. This division is one of the safest measures that the resolution creates.

In addition to the change in fundraising model, the budget model changes as well. With the new budget, the athletics department is solely responsible for its own budget. If ticket sales drop, the athletics department is responsible for cutting the budget or finding more funding elsewhere.

This change to the resolution,when the original resolution was passed, makes for a safer transition towards D-I athletics at UNA. It is inevitable that the transition needs to take place, but last year’s resolution made for a very swift transition that did not keep students in mind.

The university administration and the trustees are finally on the same side of the argument, which allows for a smoother transition for the university as a whole. When the administration and trustees are united on one front, the university can accomplish much more and in a more productive manner.

Pushing the transition back one year not only allows the community to become more involved in the move, but it allows the university to get even more “D-I ready”. The more time that the university community has to get its finances in order, the better.

Student bank accounts continue to be drained by raising tuition and fees, and the $8 per credit hour cap gives a safety net for students. This safety net is a great idea to ensure that students (that may not even be particularly interested in athletics) do not have to foot the entire bill to move towards D-I.

The timeline that was created with Monday’s resolution allows the university to safely transition towards D-I. The only thing that is truly missing in the overall picture is that UNA still does not have an invitation to a D-I conference. The main thing the athletics department needs to be focusing on is getting an invitation to a conference and taking its 93 percent of fundraising to 100 percent.

This resolution is a step in the right direction for this generation to leave a legacy on the university. It makes sure that the university, its administration and its trustees are always focused on what keeps it running—the students.

The views expressed in this staff editorial are the collective opinions of The Flor-Ala’s editorial board.