Dropping the ball on sports

By GRAHAM MARTIN

Once upon a time, Norwalk Community Technical College (as it was called a many, many moons ago) had an excellent basketball team. The warriors of this elite group each had unfathomable talent, and their athletic prowess was feared by numerous teams across the land. To accurately portray the skill of the NCTC basketball team, I should cite that in November of 1998, the NCTC Panthers faced off against the UCONN Huskies and only lost by 3 (in all seriousness, this is a remarkable accomplishment). The team achieved many great victories throughout its glorious campaign. Legend has it that the force mysteriously disbanded one day, leaving nary a trace behind.

As many students may have noticed since a decade ago, Norwalk Community College has had numerous unused facilities that were once constructed with the hopes of supporting sports and recreation. These resources however remained largely ignored and are often misused, like the baseball field in the rear of the West Campus which is now utilized as a parking lot. NCC has plenty of the necessary equipment and space to support at least one sports team, but it currently houses a grand total of zero. Many of the students are unaware of the fact that NCC once hosted multiple sports teams.

“We actually had a number of sports teams for a number of years,” said Tyler Griese, assistant director of fitness at NCC. “We had men and women’s basketball, men’s baseball and women’s softball. [The college] terminated everything about 10 years ago.”

It’s not as if there isn’t enough interest or talent to form a sports team at NCC; on any given sunny day, students can be found playing football on the West Campus field or training in the fitness center.

So why were these sports programs canceled so long ago? According to Griese, the decision was based on funding issues. Much of NCC’s budget was spent each year on athletic programs when the money could have gone to academics.

“The college wanted to provide services for all students, not just those in the sports programs,” noted Griese.

Why is it that nobody has taken the initiative to at least create a student organization where people can go to use the athletic facilities? If a club were formed, it could easily provide a platform for athletic teams materialize.

“Go to student activities and propose a club or propose to reactivate a club,” encourages Griese. “Student activities has on the books a basketball club, a soccer club. . . there was a recently formed dance club. Student activities oversees everything.”

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