Women's Tennis, Volleyball, Track Cut
Athletes heartbroken about decisions
May 12, 2004 1:19 PM
For months now SF State’s athletic department’s had its head on the chopping block. Now, the axe has fallen.
“It’s for sure,” said senior tennis player Cookie Sambrano of the athletic department cuts. “They cut women’s tennis, women’s volleyball and women’s track. Baseball, softball, men’s soccer and wrestling are going to be the only full-time sports next year, all rest are going to be part time. My coach was given her two weeks notice yesterday – I heard about the other sports by word of mouth among the athletes.”
The athletic department administration has neither confirmed nor denied the validity of Sambrano’s statement, but sources within the department said it is true.
The athletic department’s cuts will be officially announced today via a press release through Office of Public Affairs.
Still, the mood around the main gym remains somber.
“More than being happy for those programs that are going to continue, we’re sad about the programs that are not going to be continuing and our colleagues who are being released,” said baseball coach Matt Markovich, whose Gator team finished just a half-game out of the playoffs for the second consecutive season. “Nobody goes into coaching for the money or the chance for advancement – we all do it because we love our sports and we have a passion for teaching. If nothing else these cuts put a little bit of pressure on the programs that are continuing to continue to improve and show their worth to this campus.”
Elysa Laskin of the now defunct Gator tennis team transferred to SF State this year from Cuesta College to play for Coach Marla Ried and earn her degree. Now she finds herself in the unenviable position of choosing between the sport she loves and her education.
“I have one more year of eligibility, but I’m not going to transfer again. I just transferred, and I’m not in a position to up and transfer again, so I’m pretty much done playing college tennis,” said Laskin after hearing from a teammate that their team was among the budget casualties. “It’s affected me pretty hard; I had an OK season last year, but I was looking forward to improving next year and going out on a high note, now that’s been cut short.”
“To me it’s absolutely ridiculous. It’s not up to me to say which sports should stay or go, nobody should,” an angry Sambrano said of the cuts. “Athletics are a big part of the university experience. I’m pretty mad about it. We represent our school every day on campus and off. I transferred here, and I’m proud to be an SF State student. I love to represent the school – I graduate in three weeks, and I wouldn’t have gotten this far without athletics.
"I feel the worst about the swim team. They’ve had a team here for what, 74 years? I don’t feel like us athletes stood up for the swim team enough because we felt like we were all safe. Maybe if we had took a stand then and been more supportive of the swim team we could have prevented all these cuts.”
Additional reporting by Cassandra Braun and Todd E. Swenson.
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