Attending event helps support UHV athletics

By the Advocate Editorial Board
Jan. 17, 2018 at 3:57 p.m.
Updated Jan. 18, 2018 at 6 a.m.

The University of Houston-Victoria has the potential to thrive like a Division I university.

But in order to reach that level, it'll need help.

It's important for our community to support the effort of fundraising for student-athletes.

Not only does it help the men and women of UHV succeed in life and sports, it helps drive student attendance at the university.

UHV, which is part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and competes in the Red River Athletic Conference, currently has 140 student-athletes competing in four sports: baseball, softball, soccer and golf.

Scholarship dollars are important because the university lacks facilities.

UHV currently uses city-owned facilities - the Victoria Youth Sports Complex and Riverside Stadium. A school that has its own facilities can be at a competitive advantage.

What college likes sharing its softball field with a high school or little league team?

If the school recruits better student-athletes, its profile will be raised. Winning and competing for national championships will drive students to want to come to that type of atmosphere. It builds enrollment and excitement.

"From a scholarship standpoint, if we can offer more scholarships, we can maintain a competitive balance," said UHV athletic director Ashley Walyuchow. "Our program and scholarship dollars are important to us because we lack facilities. We're using city-owned facilities while other schools have their own."

The Flutie effect is a prime example of what successful sports teams can do for a university.

The Flutie effect happens when a successful college sports team increases the exposure of the school. The name comes from Boston College's Doug Flutie, who completed a Hail Mary pass against Miami in 1984.

The college saw an increase in applications the following year because of to Flutie's heroics. Winning is attractive.

The UHV men's soccer team is making strides by coming off a strong 2017 season. The team reached the NAIA Men's Soccer National Tournament for the first time in school history.

Since softball began at the university in 2008, the team has qualified for the playoffs every year and has qualified for the national tournament five times.

The college can stay competitive by having more scholarship dollars for recruiting.

Being a college athlete is almost like having a full-time job: If you aren't honing your craft, you're in the classroom or doing homework.

The Jaguars began their athletic program in 2008 with baseball and softball and added golf and soccer for men and women in 2010. During that span, the teams have compiled more than 700 wins.

These kids work just as hard as Division I athletes. They deserve some help.

"It helps keep us competitive athletically," Walyuchow said of the scholarships. "The Red River is becoming more competitive, and if we don't raise scholarships, we will fall behind from a competitive standpoint."

Overall, helping student-athletes financially will help grow the school and put the athletes in a better position to win.

Let's help UHV student-athletes by fueling their scholarship funds for the future.

Help support UHV athletes by attending "A Night for the Jaguars," from 6 p.m. to midnight Friday at Club Westerner.

Walyuchow, who has been the university's athletic director since 2006, stressed the importance of the event for the students.

"With this event, student-athletes will get to meet our supporters and donors. It helps them network," he said.

This opinion reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.



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