Rich Glas, having no charge for participating and utilizing gear in Concordia’s athletic programs are two ways the athletic department is ensuring that a lack of funds does not affect players’ experiences.
Each department on campus is coping with budget cuts differently. The athletic department has recently begun using a new way to collect money for its stagnant funds.
This year, Athletic Director Rich Glas has worked with the Admission Office and the Advancement Office to contact supporters of the college who may be interested in donating to the athletic department specifically.
In the past, the only form of donations received by the athletic department came from coaches contacting alumni to donate to their sport. These donations allow coaches to purchase new items, such as equipment and uniforms, for their players. Coaches are still doing this, but the money Glas raises will go in a C-club fund and benefit every sport.
“I am really happy with the administration and how they have supported us over the years to help us raise funds instead of just sitting back and saying ‘Hey, we need all these dollars,’” Glas said.
Glas said the money that is raised for the entire athletic department can go toward things such as athletic trainers, expenses or specific sports needing more help.
While the athletic department has not suffered too much from budget cuts, it has been affected by stagnant funds.
“Budgets haven’t increased over the years but gas, uniforms and everything you need to run a program has [due to inflation],” Glas said.
Garrick Larson, men’s track and field and men’s cross-country coach, explained that travel time does not depend on the budget. Coaches want athletes to receive the most time while playing the sport, and many athletic competitions are determined before budget is considered.
The track and field teams have not taken an Easter or spring break trip for three years. Larson explained that this decision has been made for many reasons, such as athletes having other plans over break and students saving money.
“It would have cost the kids so much that it didn’t feel right to [require them to] take the trip,” Larson said.
The spring semester break trips are optional, but the goal is to get as many athletes as possible to participate, according to Larson.
“We don’t have any fat, but we aren’t going to cheat our students either,” Glas said.
Marvin Roeske, women’s track and field and women’s cross-country coach, said that location of a game or meet does not depend on the budget.
“We still go to a couple invitationals a year, down by the cities,” Roeske said. “We just don’t run down to the cities every week for a meet when there are meets in the area.”
Attending meets around the Fargo-Moorhead area helps the budget, but these choices to stay local are not made due to the budget. Compared with previous years, there are more facilities that are equipped for meets in the nearby area, which allow athletes to compete closer to school, according to Roeske. Sports predetermine their schedules, so athletes are not attending fewer meets, according to Glas.
The athletic department continues to play a large part in recruitment. For the past several years, 37 to 39 percent of incoming freshmen go out for athletic teams. Concordia recognizes the importance of athletics to students, according to Glas.
Glas said many students choose to come to Concordia to play a sport but remain because of the quality education.
“We work hand and glove with academics,” Glas said.
While athletics are an important part of the school, budget is still a campus-wide dilemma.
“Concordia absolutely doesn’t want to see us over budget,” Larson said. “In the past, they would cover if you were a little over budget if you were responsible about it. They’re not going to do that anymore.”
Alumni donations have played a large part in helping the athletic department in recent years. While the C-club fund is new, Glas said coaches are hopeful that it will have great outcomes.
Katelyn is a senior double majoring in Multimedia Journalism and Communications. She’s been apart of the Concordian team for three years, and plans to travel as much as possible after graduating in December.