Concerns over athletes and Burtenshaw Hall

Posted Thursday, April 7, 2005 - 12:00am

The Associated Students of the College of Eastern Utah Advisory Cabinet met with representatives of the athletic departments last week to address concerns the students had with student athletes and Burtenshaw Residence Hall.

ASCEU is in charge of assessing student fees which gives $67.50 directly and indirectly from each student to the athletic department each semester. The fee includes $32 to the Burtenshaw bond where most student athletes are housed, $27.50 to athletics, $6 to the intramural program and $2 to the BDAC. Total fees each semester that a full-time student is assessed is $184.40. Almost one-third of those fees go to the athletic department.

Coaches Dave Paur, Dan Allen and Bryan Zollinger met with ASCEU leadership council. The advisory cabinet had some questions and concerns with the department and its athletes.

Athletics receives the second largest funding of any organization on campus through student fees. ASCEU receives the most funding at $33.50 assessed each full-time student per semester, athletics $27.50.

ASCEU leadership felt Burtenshaw dorm had more than its share of problems. In a recent meeting with the faculty, students and administration, students felt that there were no housing directors in either Burtenshaw or Tucker and this caused many problems. They felt that the RAs were not doing their jobs in Burtenshaw and that most times the dorm rules were not enforced. "Burtenshaw is out of control and something should be done about it," was reported in the meeting.

ASCEU asked the coaches about the athletes' scholarships and if they all needed to be in one dorm.

The coaches said the housing part of each athletes' scholarship is $1,350 per year and if an athlete wants to live in another dorm, the athlete had to pay the difference. The coaches added that the scholarships are now more portable and athletes can live in any dorm.

Allen said the perception of Burtenshaw has always been associated with a higher crime rate. However, the past two years, the highest student crime rate has been in Aaron Jones Residence Hall.

"One in three students living in the dorms is a student athlete. The crime rate is not even close to that statistic for athletes and crime. Athletes are not the ones that generally cause the problems," the coach said.

The coaches also said that the recruitment efforts of the athletic department brings CEU more necessary full-time-equivalent students to help with the college's enrollment.

They reminded ASCEU that athletes are subject to the same consequences as every other student. Plus they will receive additional consequences as needed by the athletic department. They can be punished and reprimanded in different ways, both as a team consequence and an individual one. However, the coaches said, they do not have the power to regulate student behavior.

Allen felt the front line in each dorm is the RAs, not the hall directors. They added, athletic RAs bring conflict in that it may be hard to reprimand a teammate. But an athletic RA can be more of a threat because they have access to coaches along with the regular dorm rules.

ASCEU was concerned over student and community support at athletic events. In the past five years, Paur said the second highest gate receipts for the games was last year. He felt it dropped this year because nearly all of CEU's home games were held at the same time Carbon High School had home games.

The coaches liked what the Eagleman has done at the games. They asked for a CEU calendar of events to let athletes know about the activities on campus. The coaches said they could let the athletes out of study hall to attend some of the activities. They envisioned having the athletes getting to know the student body more through activities and have this done at the beginning of the year.

When the coaches discussed recruiting, they said they did not have the budget to recruit everyone they would like to. The recruiting efforts were mostly over the phone.

Another question concerned an athlete not saluting the flag. The coaches explained that this is a free country and it allows people the right to disgrace a flag.

"I really appreciate the coaches coming in to discuss some of these things with us. I was really impressed at how willing the athletic director, Dave Paur was in making changes. I really felt that he took some responcibility in trying to resolve some of our concerns and hope that that attitude can be adopted all in similiar positions that really effect students," ASCEU President Daniel Wood concluded.

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It's nice to know that CEU has upstanding coaches who are willing to justify the actions of athletes.

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