The Athletic Department has been working to bring more women’s sports teams to VSU.
“Our goal is to test VSU against other institutions,” President Dr. Patrick J. Schloss said. “VSU is 63 percent female. We don’t share the same ratio of female opportunities in sports.”
Dr. Schloss and VSU Athletic Director Herb Reinhardt have been working to give male and female athletes the same opportunities to compete.
VSU has made a step in the right direction by adding a women’s soccer team to the list of programs already at VSU.
“Soccer now makes six female sports teams, so overall we have 12 teams—six female and six male,” Reinhardt said. “The real question now is: What might be our next one?”
But if there are not many schools near VSU who participate in certain sports, it is not in the department’s best interest to add those teams to their roster, he said.
According to Reinhardt, the costs associated with a new team would also be a consideration. However, it would be too costly to create a team whose competition is far away from
Valdosta because the games would require excessive traveling and if the sport is not popular, the student body interest is likely to not be high enough to sustain morale and finances.
The process for finding a coach who is qualified for the position and making sure each new team is given the same advantages and opportunities as existing teams is difficult, Reinhardt
“When deciding what teams to add, we have to ask ourselves: Can we play it and play it efficiently?” he said.
Opinions on what types of sports should be added vary.
“Being a coach is a full-time job for just one team,” women’s soccer coach Melissa Heinz said. “I love soccer, it is in my heart, but if any sports came to VSU I would like to see track and field or women’s golf.”
Dr. Schloss said he felt cross country, which is already a varsity sport at VSU, offers runners an opportunity to compete. However, he said track and field is a good developmental sport.
“It will be student interest that determines our next move,” Dr. Schloss said. “The administration is fully committed, but student opinion matters.”