Bell thinks sports should receive equal treatment

Story by Sara

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The Baker University Athletic Department has certainly had an exciting year, as the Wildcats have already claimed six conference titles, made five national tournament appearances and won a national title.

One of the main paths to achieving these accomplishments is reaching the Heart of America Athletic Conference postseason tournament.

Making the tournament is a goal the Baker softball team has reached for three consecutive years, a drastic improvement from the team’s 2-18 conference record in 2008.

As a member of the softball team, I am extremely proud of the direction our program is headed and cannot wait to watch it continue to develop. My teammates and I felt a great deal of support from the Baker community during our four regular-season home games and throughout the season. However, after earning one more home series on April 27, we felt as though our accomplishments had been swept under the rug.

It came to the team’s attention four hours prior to the first pitch, general admission into the game would be $5 and those with a valid Baker ID would be admitted for $3. <br/>

All conference and NAIA postseason play requires a paid admission. However, many of the teams that had the privilege to host these types of games in front of their home crowd received donations providing free student admission.

The volleyball, men’s and women’s soccer and men’s basketball teams all played home HAAC playoff appearances, but student entry fees for each of these events were paid for by an individual, campus office or organization.

In the first round of the men’s basketball HAAC tournament, every student in attendance was admitted for free. The first 80 students attending the volleyball and men’s and women’s soccer games were also able to attend the games for free.

In no way am I undermining the success of these teams. In fact, I will be the first to admit that I took advantage of the free admittance into these events. I just wish to point out that if a precedent has been set it should present the same opportunity to fans of each sport.

The fan-occupancy of Cavaness Field is much smaller compared to Collins Center or Liston Stadium; therefore providing free admission to 150 students would be impractical. However, is it much of a stretch to request that the first 30 students receive free tickets to the game?

Donators have the free will to choose where their contributions will go, and I am grateful the community has so many individuals in support of Baker Athletics.<br/>

It’s disheartening that equal opportunities and support are not provided to all teams.