On July 5, Terrance J. Tumey was appointed the UC Davis Director of Athletics in succession of Greg Warzecka.
Tumey is starting with a base salary of $210,000 that will increase in $5,000 increments every year until it reaches $230,000 in the fifth year.
As the Athletic Director, Tumey will oversee the operations of coaches and staff of the intercollegiate athletic programs at UC Davis. But that doesn’t concern the rest of you non-student-athletes right? Wrong.
As much as you would like to treat athletics and academics as separate entities, they are directly intertwined at our university, which students should realize. The change in athletic directors could have a direct effect on every student on campus.
Some sports – such as football, baseball and basketball – have the potential to generate revenue for the school through mediums like ticket sales.
UC Davis athletic programs are already struggling to stay afloat, and the abysmal attendance doesn’t help. It’s difficult to pinpoint where this chicken-or-the-egg cycle began. There is a problem when there were higher attendance numbers when UC Davis was a Division II school than there are now in Division I. Where did all the fans go?
Tumey is taking it upon himself to figure out why UC Davis isn’t pulling in the fans that it has the potential to. In a time when every bit of revenue can help a university strapped for money, athletics and academics can team up in generating revenues; they don’t have to be fighting for funds.
More ticket sales means more people in the stands, which creates a bigger pull for athletes, which means better athletes will want to come to Davis. When strong athletes come to Davis, they put more W’s in the win column. When we win, we sell more tickets, and so on.
Now, this isn’t to say that our athletes aren’t world-class athletes. They’re here because they’ve already figured out that UC Davis is a special place to go and develop skills. They just need the financial support from a school, and the knowledge that they have fans and a student base around them that supports and cares about them.
And judging by our attendance records – let’s be honest – are we doing that for them?
Tumey’s actions will affect the athletic programs here at UC Davis, which in turn have the potential to foster the University even further along in its growth as both an athletic and academic powerhouse.
Good luck, Mr. Tumey. And students: keep watching.