Staff Editorial: Biola athletes lack support at games

Despite the dedication and excellence of Biola’s sports teams, attendance at games continues to be low.

Chimes Staff, Writer

Sports are a pivotal component of unity on a college campus. In many respects, depending on the sport, collegiate athletics are more competitive and prestigious than those at the professional level. Aside from chapels and a few other campus-wide events, it’s the one time when Biola students from different majors, dorms and classes can come together and enjoy America’s favorite pastimes.

But unfortunately, sports attendance is something that’s lacking on Biola’s campus. Not only is overall attendance generally low, but there is a great disparity in attendance between some sports.

Men's basketball draws the biggest crowd

Men’s basketball easily saw the most attendees in the 2009-2010 academic year at an average of 778 attendees, with volleyball just behind with an average of 614. Baseball, on the other hand, had an average of 97 attendees last year, while softball saw just 50.

Between eight men’s sports and nine women’s sports, only three women’s and two men’s sports averaged more than 100 in attendance at home games. At the same time, five men’s sports compete on campus and six women’s sports compete on campus. With games mostly on nights and weekends, and right in our own backyard, we have every opportunity to support our teams.

Athletes deserve recognition for their hard work

Biola’s athletes pour hours upon hours each week into their sports with practices, games and travel. Moreover, they receive very little funding to do what they do. Compared to many state schools or schools with large endowments, Biola has very little to offer for its athletes. Indeed, some athletes have given up much larger scholarships elsewhere because they believe in the heart and mission of Biola. Many athletes also give up time that could be spent working instead.

Biola athletes use their sports as witness

Certainly, every group of students on campus needs support. But our athletes are spreading the name of Biola — and in effect, the name of Christ — to those outside La Mirada’s boundaries. They may not be missionaries by name, but they carry the Biola brand with them to every meet, tournament and competition — a name which is well-connected with the name of Christ. As such, they deserve our support.

Even amidst the tumult of collegiate life, everybody has the occasional night when we have nowhere to go, nothing to do, and no money in our pockets. Consider a Biola sporting event –– a fantastic and free entertainment option, and a great opportunity to minister to the athletes who make up Biola’s award-winning teams.

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