My Turn: Where was the men's basketball team? - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

My Turn: Where was the men's basketball team?

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After weeks of meetings and research, a specially appointed committee at UNCW is recommending to Chancellor Gary Miller that five sports be cut.  It's a big move and one I'm sure Chancellor Miller will consider seriously before making a final decision.

There are several parts of this proposal we could discuss, but I want to point out one sentence that stood out to me in the committee's 18 page report. 

As part of the process, the committee scheduled meetings with two representatives from each sport.  They wanted to hear opinions from each team about what needs to be done at the university.  The women's basketball team couldn't make it.  They were competing in the CAA tournament at the time.

But this line stood out to me. "The men's basketball team was absent."  The only sports team at UNCW that didn't show up and didn't have an excuse was the basketball team.  That's disappointing.

We deserve an explanation. Did the men's team assume it didn't have to justify its future?  I hope not.  The basketball teams have won ten games in each of the last two seasons and also earned some NCAA penalties. They're not exactly "soaring."

College is a time in which we're also supposed to learn some personal responsibility.  Seems to me our basketball team thinks they are beyond all that.    

That's my turn. Now it's your turn. To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at yourturn@wect.com.


Emailed comments from viewers:

Thank you for that brief but well said segment!

In this case "actions do speak louder than words"...shame on the UNCW basketball team for not sending a rep!

If they can't even show up (action)...hmmmm??!!!

That just refuels my support against the potential cuts for swimming, diving, softball, cross country and indoor track!

Those dedicated athletes/ students deserve UNCW's support and validation that their hard work and dedication to their chosen sports is rewarded.

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I'm having trouble understanding where the money is going! It seems they have been raising tuition annually, yet there going to cut five sports.. I like your point on the men's b-ball team as well.

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This lack of responsibility to the UNCW athletic program is not acceptable.  The fault lies at the top and it should be addressed. The coach is not leading this team as it should be. Maybe the buck stops there. Hope the chancellors  office is listening!

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Since the Men's UNCW basketball team has only won 10 games in the last two years, I too wonder why it was not represented at the meeting!  If the school wants to cut expenses in the sports program, they could reduce the $400,000 salary of Buzz Peterson!  Why pay a losing coach that much?

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You obviously do not know the inner workings of the athletic department at UNCW. To even suggest that the men's basketball team could potentially be on the chopping block shows your ignorance as to how intercollegiate sports work. At many NCAA Division One universities, the revenue that the football team generates helps pay for the entire athletic department. Clearly, UNCW does not have a football program, which means that responsibility falls on the men's basketball team. 

They are the school's money generator, even in times when they are not as successful on the floor. They average the most revenue in tickets sold, they generate the most media attention, and they are the ones credited with increasing applications in times of national exposure. During my time in Wilmington, the men's basketball team at UNCW went to the NCAA Tournament four times, getting to play in front of a national television audience each trip. While other programs are quite successful in terms of wins and losses, you cannot compare the good they do for the school versus what good the basketball program does when they are successful.

I don't know about you but as a UNCW men's basketball supporter, I'd much rather Coach Peterson and the rest of his staff and student-athletes focus on improving the product on the floor, rather than sit in some meeting that does not apply to them. 

So they didn't attend while all the other programs had to, and some people think that isn't fair. You know what? Life isn't fair. Those other programs wouldn't be there if there wasn't a men's basketball program around to collect the necessary cash to pay their bills.

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Appreciated your comments re: UNCW's  proposal to cut 5 sports.  Although the swim and dive efforts have been enormous -- it still comes down to the Chancellor having the discipline to do the right thing.  It bothers me (enormously) that I have a rising freshman, on her way to UNCW in August, to swim for the Seahawks - but we don't know if there will be a program next year!   The rug could be pulled out from under their feet….and what do we do at that point?  UNCW's IRAC committee was given distorted facts and conveniently ignored the truth.  There are other ways to handle this matter while trying to enhance the Men's basketball team, who needs to step up academically as well on the court.  I hope that you will seek the truth, disclose to the community and educate all that are in the position to make a difference.  Thanks for your fair and balanced reporting! 

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My comment is how can a team whose budget is over $1 million a year and who only generates $500,000 a year in revenue be considered the team that "pays everyone else's bills"?  That's just arrogant and shameful.  Maybe the Jimmy Bass (the Athletic Director) and the athletic department need to focus on making changes to the basketball program instead of cutting the school's more successful teams.

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