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Is Brockport a sports centered college?

by Alyssa Daley-Executive Editor
Thu, May 4th 2017 01:20 pm
Photos courtesy of the Brockport Athletic Communications via flickr.com
Photos courtesy of the Brockport Athletic Communications via flickr.com
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For prospective students looking at colleges, the spirit and environment of the campus is a large component of which institution they'll commit to. Even some of the most academically inclined students enjoy being able to walk outside on a sunny day and join in on a game of frisbee. According to newamerica.org, both the types of clubs/organizations a college has and the sports/athletic teams are in the top 14 reasons why students will choose one university over another. 

The College at Brockport has more than 28 club sports teams including men's and women's rugby, Tae Kwon Do and horseback riding. As for our Division III sports we have all the ones that normally come to mind: football, gymnastics,  lacrosse and more. The new Special Recreation Events Center (SERC) allows the teams and students in general have up-to-date equipment and facilities to grow and develop physically. With all of this you'd think we would be a sports-centered school. There are student athletes in almost every major and even the Brockport Student Government tries to raise school spirit by handing out prizes to people who participate in initiatives like "Green and Gold Fridays" which entails students wearing Brockport colors. 

The Athletic Department has also made student participation in sporting events a priority and even developed the Eagle Empire initiative which selects one home game of every team during its season to be an Eagle Empire Game. Students are given Brockport memorabilia for free if they go and the more games they attend the greater their chances are at winning a prize at the end of the year. College leaders have made an effort to create an energetic and overall united environment for prospective students to come into in their first year. 

However, all these efforts are for nothing if students fail to engage. If they choose not to go to homecoming or the Courage Bowl which are two of the largest events in the fall then there really is no hope for Brockport to be considered a sports-oriented college. 

Every person has a different perspective on athletics: there are the student athletes who are immersed in that culture by definition, there are students who give up a lot of their time  supporting the Golden Eagles and there are students who are more focused on their grades and academic extracurriculars. All three have valid takes on whether or not Brockport can call itself a sports college.

"Yes, I believe that we are a sports college," senior attackman and captain of the men's lacrosse team Jake Giudice wrote in an email. "Our school has based its funds around athletics, especially with the new turf and the SERC center. This is to attract the best possible pool of talent for all athletic teams."

In the State University of New York Athletic Conference our Golden Eagles' reputation is up there with Colgate University, according to Giudice. 

"We have an athletic reputation of being a high level, competitive school that can challenge any sports team," Giudice wrote. "On the lacrosse team we have a consistent fan base of family and friends that support us every home game. There is a ton of spirit at home games. The fans are very supportive."

That's one opinion down and two more to go. As of right now, according to Brockport's athletic community, we are a sports college but there is still a chance other students from different backgrounds than Giudice think otherwise. Megan Gullo is a second-year accounting and finance major at Brockport and her perspective is one many students outside of the athletic community on campus can relate to.

 "I only go to the big games against rivalry teams like at homecoming but other than that I don't attend most of them," Gullom said. "I think that being a DIII school automatically kind of labels us as not being an athletic-oriented school."

Gullo may not believe that athletics is something the entire Brockport community takes great lengths to enjoy but she does agree that athletics has strong connections with the level of school spirit on campus and that it is important that the Golden Eagles continue to be supported in order to keep spirit alive.

"[Various organizations on campus] do a lot to promote school spirit like the wear green and gold on Fridays," Gullo said. "Students really do get into it sometimes, especially at homecoming. Some people go all out and paint their entire faces green and gold. School spirit is able to bring everyone together which is always important."

Gullo is not alone in associating our designation as a DIII school with being more academically focused rather than athletically. Student athletes are reminded by their coaches and the Athletic Department that they are students first hence their title, if they don't keep their grades up they are not allowed to play. However, there are some students who love to attend every home game of their favorite teams and decide to take an even more active role than the average student.

Senior journalism and broadcasting major Andrew Hyman is one of those students. He has volunteered to be the commentator for many different sports games over the last couple of years. He also hosts the show "Brockport Eagles Sports Minute" which is a minute sportscast discussing the top plays of the week. Being so involved yet also being a part of the general student body puts Hyman in an interesting position when it comes to whether or not Brockport is a sports-centered college.

"I think we definitely have a solid athletic-focused community," Hyman wrote in a message. "We have great facilities and of course, a wonderful exercise center. I think Brockport is becoming more and more of a target location for some athletes that have otherwise been overlooked in other areas, and they always seem to come here and excel. 

That's a tradition that won't change for the foreseeable future as the department keeps getting stronger."

Well for all you prospective students, there's the verdict. Brockport, for the students who are looking for it, most definitely has enough athletic and Golden Eagles spirit to go around. 

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