Over the past month, UC Davis has been hosting town hall meetings to discuss possible changes to the athletic department as mentioned in the Dempsey Report.
In the report to Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi, former NCAA Commissioner Cedric Dempsey proposed, among many things, that UC Davis switch from an educational model to a business model with regard to the athletic department. In order to move to a business model, which almost all Division I programs use, at least five more sports could be cut.
Because of these proposals, many of the speakers at these town hall meetings are current members of the teams that could be cut and therefore anti-Dempsey Report. However, that doesn’t mean all the speakers in this crowd share this opinion.
Every once in a while, a proponent of the Dempsey Report will come up and most of the time, those in favor of a business model are unable to finish their thoughts and speeches because they get interrupted by people who disagree with their opinions.
This is unacceptable. The purpose of these town hall meetings is for the administration to hear the multitude of opinions that exist on this campus and make a decision they feel adequately represents it. Therefore, they need to hear everyone’s uninterrupted opinions to make the best decision possible.
All the speakers are entitled to speak on the matter without the threat of getting shut down by someone who disagrees. Everyone needs to be fair and let those who wish to speak voice their opinion.
We understand the implications the Dempsey Report has on numerous sports on campus. For the individuals on the teams that could get cut, this is obviously a huge burden as their sports are often the center of their social and academic lives. To lose these aspects of college could be detrimental to those students.
This does not give anyone the excuse, however, to badger and mistreat those who you don’t agree with. Dempsey Report supporters should not be afraid to go to these meetings and speak their minds.
There is no explicit right or wrong answer when it comes to the future of UC Davis athletics. There will be positive and negative consequences regardless of what Chancellor Katehi decides to do. Ultimately, the decisions should be made based upon what is best for UC Davis and not based upon who speaks the loudest at these meetings. All we ask is to let everyone get equal opportunity to speak on the matter.