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CSUN Athletics Program Worth Supporting

November 06, 1994

In response to your article and editorial regarding the Cal State Northridge athletic referendum that was defeated, I think that Bob Heigert has a point.

As a former cheerleader, student and graduate of CSUN, I am glad that the athletic program at Northridge was strong during my years there. It not only gave me the opportunity to experience what Heigert calls "the college experience," but it also gave me a perspective on how hard it is for players to not only cope with school, grades and jobs (part and full-time), but also to play on an athletic team.

To defeat this referendum and to say that the CSUN administration needs to "rethink" its position on backing the athletics program is a slap in the face to all those athletes who are working, playing and learning at the same time.

It's a fact: Northridge has had a hard year. But to say that athletics needs to suffer because of it is wrong. CSUN's athletic programs are successful and win--check it out, go to a game and then make a decision. And to the older and job-holding students, take your children to a game. Northridge sports aren't just for "college-age" students, they are for the community.



* Your editorial, "Heed CSUN Student Vote on Sports" (Oct. 23) makes a valid point about listening to students' needs, but it reveals some shortsightedness as well.

CSUN, by its own admission, has been struggling for fame while it lingers in the shadows of UCLA and USC. Sports bring that fame, and fame brings money.

How popular would Duke University be if its basketball team weren't on TV every Saturday during basketball season? And what would people think of Notre Dame if it got no recognition from football? Both Duke and Notre Dame have strong academic traditions, but chances are neither would be as popular as they are, nor would they have the money to spend on faculty, campus improvements and other areas of importance, if sports didn't play such a big role for them. Sports generate revenue.

By passing the referendum, students would have committed themselves to an extra $49 per semester. That would have been an added pressure to some but an investment in a long-term commitment to the university. CSUN has a good reputation in Southern California, but beyond that many people have never heard of it.

A strong sports program is likely to attract local TV and corporate sponsorship, which in turn means donations from local and national companies, For now, that money is earmarked for athletics. But as soon as those programs are up and running, the money goes to the business, science and music departments.

As a graduate of CSUN, I know part of the reason so few students voted is because so few care to have a voice in student politics. But a recognizable campus--for sports and academics--will mean a more active student body, a more recognized university and a more respected name in the community.


Woodland Hills

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