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For the love of the game

Patrick Sweeney / The Arbiter

It is a common misconception that college athletes are compensated for playing sports. However, in most cases, this is not necessarily true. According to the NCAA’s website, only two percent of high school athletes nationally are awarded athletic scholarships from universities. For those undeterred by the minute number, club sports provide an outlet for those looking to fulfill the competitive athletic appetite. For some, it seems just like Plan B while for others it’s  ideal.

Boise State offers club sport opportunities for the sport-hungy—21 different options to be exact. Ranging from club baseball to ultimate, students who participate have the opportunity to travel and compete with different schools.

With this fortune comes a bit of a price. Nothing detrimental, just a set amount of service hours,  fundraising dollars, recruiting numbers, scheduling of opponents and attendance at the monthly club sports council meetings.

Who’s in charge of that? Not Boise State athletics, who tend to scholarship athletes, and not University Recreation Services, who allocate this “freedom” to the clubs. It would be the club sport presidents.

A daunting challenge would be one way to word it. An uphill battle might be another. Club track and field president, junior Bobby Mueller, said
it well.

“Its physically tough to prepare (for your sport) and then you have to actually prepare everything else.”

Mueller, a junior political science major, leads a club co-ed team of 25 that deals with a high turnover rate as well as a sport that has a current varsity sport recognized by the

Mueller has to coordinate other runs, figure out travel logistics, rent vans  and hotel rooms,  all while taking 15 credits. It’s all worth it for Mueller, as it allows him to be “an athlete without the NCAA restrictions.”

Men’s club soccer president, senior D.J. Johnston, states one of the more under-the-radar burdens of holding presidency in club sports.

“You must fill out a form for everything you do: if you schedule a game, there’s a form for it, if you make a payment, there’s a form for it. There’s just a ton of
paperwork,” Johnston said.

Even with the sea of shredded trees accounting for each club’s singular move, Johnston and the men’s team benefit from being able to play in the National Intramural Recreational Sports Association Region 6 for fall semester, matching up against sturdy competition, such as the likes of Weber State, the NIRSA national champion three out of the last five years.

“It is still very competitive,” Johnston said when asked about the comparison to a varsity soccer program.  “It gives you the sense of being on a varsity, and with the travel you are taken

Aside from scheduling, aside from paperwork and aside from meetings, the paramount way for these clubs to function is with members. And recruiting is almost an unspoken job for presidents, according to water polo president
Matt Jones.

“Recruitment is a big deal. It’s tough to find Idahoans interested in water polo. The easy part was getting started, the hard part is staying afloat, pun intended,”
Jones said.

Being a president for any organization or group is tough in and of itself.

However, without a university backbone for these sports, a special individual needs to step up to the plate. Even if it requires swinging in
the dark.

About John Garretson (0 Articles)
John Garretson enters his first year as The Arbiter's Sports Editor. A junior Communication student pursuing a Certificate of Public Relations, Garretson is also Boise State PRSSA's Director of Publicity. Check him out on Twitter at @John_Garretson and stay tuned for this season's Arbiter Sports Talk.