The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Sports Columns

April 2, 2014

Rick Teverbaugh: AU athletics take a step backward

There are very few positive signposts around the Anderson University athletic department right now.

Certainly the baseball and softball programs have gotten off to fast starts and the other spring sports are just getting footholds on the season.

The AU athletic program has this statement, taken from its website: “The mission of the Anderson University Department of Athletics is to embrace the holistic development of our programs, with a focus on academic excellence, athletic success, spiritual mentoring and social growth.”

For much of that statement, only the people who are inside the program can gauge if those goals are being met. I am betting most of them probably are. But the “athletic success” part can be questioned.

For most universities, the most visible programs are football and basketball. This academic school year, those three teams combined to win eight games while losing 52. That is roughly a 13 percent victory rate.

The other sports, other than baseball and softball, are at .500 or below save the men’s soccer team, which was 10-9.

I understand that there are other ways to measure success athletically. But certainly any measure of success has to include wins and losses.

A couple of weeks ago, the Ravens athletic program took a big step backward by telling Sports Information Director Justin Bates that his contract won’t be renewed when it expires in August. Apparently, the position is becoming a part-time job. An assistant coach in a sport will now do that in addition to being the SID.

Understand that Bates is a friend of mine. He was a part-time writer and then a full-time writer in the sports department here. Even now he still does stories for us through the fall and winter prep seasons. You can take my comments with a grain of salt if you’d like but nothing that I am writing revolves around that friendship.

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