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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

UC Davis narrows choices for new women’s team to four viable options

DIANA LI / AGGIE

Athletics working group chosen to analyze, decide addition to UC Davis sports  

As stated in a press release on Feb. 16 by UC Davis News and Media Relations, the working group chosen to review the nominations for the new women’s athletic team has reviewed said nominations on the four criteria mentioned in past press releases: number of participation opportunities, philanthropic support, competitive opportunity and conference affiliation. After an intensive analysis of all nominations, four viable team options have been created.

According to the press release, “[the university/athletics] will need to add as many as 40 to 45 new participation opportunities for female student athletes.”

This increase in opportunities comes from the overwhelming ratio of undergraduate female students to male students at UC Davis.

The release explains that in order to fulfill these large number of opportunities, athletics is “also considering teams that can support relatively large squad sizes to be most viable, but are also evaluating the possibility of adding two smaller teams.”

The hope for these two smaller teams is to add the number of participation opportunities for the smaller teams, possibly creating a lower cost than one large team.

As far as the requirement for the new women’s team to be an official NCAA team, the release explains that it is not a requirement for the team to be in NCAA contention, but that sports sponsored by the NCAA would support a more competitive schedule, as well as provide funding to support student-athlete scholarships.

A facility on campus for the new team also is a deciding factor for the working group, particularly if facility enhancements need to be made, adding to the team’s startup cost.

The four most viable options/combinations of new sports the working group has considered, as well as notes on possible success of the teams directly from the press release are:

 

    • Beach volleyball and rugby
      • Beach volleyball would produce a roster size of 12-20 individuals, and there are currently 55 Division I programs for the sport. The roster size for rugby would be about 25 to 35 individuals, with eight current Division I programs active. Beach volleyball is sponsored by the Big West and UC Davis excels in club rugby.
    • Equestrian

 

  • Equestrian would produce a roster size of 25 to 55 individuals, and there are currently 17 Division I programs for the sport. Equestrian is complementary to notable academic strengths of UC Davis.

 

    • Fencing and rugby

 

  • Fencing would produce a roster size of 14 to 22 individuals, and there are currently 25 Division I programs for the sport. The roster size for rugby would be about 25 to 35 individuals, with eight current Division I programs active.

 

    • Rowing

 

  • Rowing would produce a roster size of 55 to 70 individuals, and there are currently 88 Division I programs for the sport. Women’s rowing had varsity status at UC Davis as recently as 2010.

 

Currently, the group is still “reviewing detailed information related to costs and donor support for the teams most strongly being considered.”

As a part of this process, the intercollegiate athletics fundraising staff will connect with prospective donors to understand the full degree of philanthropic support present, according to the release.

There is currently a “‘contingent’ pledge document available that will be sent by email to all survey respondents who nominated either rugby, rowing, fencing, equestrian or beach volleyball, and also indicated interest in making gifts to support their nominated teams.”

Individuals or groups interested in making a pledge can “send an email to Rob Norris (assistant athletics director for development) at athleticsdevelopment@ucdavis.edu. Interested donors should be sure to make their pledges by March 9, 2018.”

The full press release is available online.

 

Written by: Ryan Bugsch —sports@theaggie.org

 

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