Friday, April 28, 2006

Save CU Tennis

Wow. This story about the elimination of the men's tennis program at the University of Colorado, Boulder just keeps getting stranger. Originally the program cut was deemed purely a financial decision. The actions of the athletic department of the university before and after the decision call that motivation into question.

First, there no warning, no discussion, and no call to the tennis community, alumni, and families of tennis players to support the program rather than have it cut. The decision was made behind closed doors with no player, coach, student, or alumni involvement. Since the cut the athletic department has seemingly declined opportunities to help the "third party" fundraising effort to save the team. The department even declined to publicize the fundraising effort at all, not even with a link on it's web site until that lack of cooperation was pointed out at a Board of Regents meeting. Even then it took nearly two weeks to even get a link on the site.


The latest missive in all this comes from CU Associate AD and Sports Information Director at CU, David Plati. Reacting to the story Re-Buffed by Peter Dopkin in Tennis Magazine online on the tennis program and it's efforts to survive, a source within the department reports that Plati called the story
"one of the biggest pieces of %@#& I've read in a long time."
You can guess what expletive has been deleted. The piece, while not a glowing endorsement of all that is Colorado athletics, appears to be accurate. Follow the link above and judge for yourself whether that piece deserves Mr. Plati's vitriol.

There must be some reason that a university newly committed to openness and transparency, the words of President Hank Brown, chooses to behave in direct opposition to those qualities. Maybe some time soon we'll learn why.

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