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Recreation, Fitness & Wellness, Sports, Student Clubs & Associations

Limited funding may lead some sports clubs to be dropped

The University of South Florida’s Sport Club Council’s decision to regulate the definition of a sports club by the end of spring may relieve the funding issues of certain clubs.

A student-run Definition Committee at SCC wants to restrict the definition of what qualifies as a sports club for various reasons. “Right now it’s very diverse,” said SCC advisor Ashley Johnson. “We are looking to get a collective idea of what are sports clubs at USF, what should this group be.”

“We are looking to make our department function better so that every club we have is receiving what they need not only to function but succeed,” said Crystal Price, a member of the Definition Committee.

The SCC is assigned a unified budget by the Activities and Service Funds Committee. They then allocate the funds to approximately 45 sports clubs. According to the senate appropriations bill, sports clubs were allocated $226,000 for the fiscal year of 2010-2011, and $243,100 for the current fiscal year.

SCC’s annual funding increases by small amounts, but the average funding per club decreases as the number of sports clubs increases.

“When I first got here in 2008-2009 they were getting $215,000 for 20 clubs,” Johnson said. “Now, they fund nearly 45 clubs with approximately $250,000.”

The budget requests of individual clubs are rarely met. The Rugby Football Club, for example, requested $62,982.80, but it received only $5,906.82 for the fiscal year of 2011-2012. Despite being one of the highest-funded clubs, the Rowing Club uses old equipment. Jesse Beeson-Tate, the club’s assistant coach said that a rowing team is a very expensive team to run. One 10-year old boat costs about $12,000.

Price said that if they had the facilities they would let everyone be a sports club. But some clubs may be dropped from SCC after the redefinition, which will optimize the use of its limited resources.

“Many clubs do the bare minimum and could actually function exactly the same if they were a student organization,” Price said.

Currently clubs under the SCC can capitalize on priority booking at the campus recreation center, event coverage, tables and tents, and storage for equipment.

The Definition Committee is still researching sports club facilities at other universities, and hopes to write a proposal for the Sport Club Executive Board to vote on by March.


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