The worst fear of many has come as athletics have been cut at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. The news came as a shock to the community as the men’s basketball team has just won its fourth national championship, and men’s hockey had advanced to the Frozen Four.
“This comes as a huge surprise to us,” said Athletic Director Daron Montgomery. “It’s a shame because many wonderful people will no longer be on campus. But at least we went out winners.”
“I’m so devastated right now,” said Steven Stevens, a Stevens Point native and die hard Pointers fan. “I was on cloud nine after Saturday with Pointer pride, but now I will become a Whitewater fan.”
Not only will staff be leaving, but many students could leave as well. Athletics is one of the biggest draws to the campus, only behind natural resources and other sciences.
Since 2013, UWSP athletics have had great success with baseball making it to the College World Series, men’s basketball winning a national championship and two conference championships, while men’s hockey made it to the Frozen Four two seasons in a row.
All of this success leaves UWSP with a great tradition of winning, which continues since one sport was not cut by the budget.
The Curling Association of UWSP was the lone team to survive the cuts and will be considered an NCAA team and not a club sport.
“This is a dream come true for us,” said Ryan Kernosky, team president. “We have been pushed to the side by all of these mainstream sports. It is now time for us to shine.”
“As a campus we will support the curling team as we have no other choice,” Montgomery said. “ I have full trust in Ryan as he is a fearless leader.”
With many student-athletes debating whether they will stay, some will be trying out for the curling team in order to continue their time at UWSP.
“I came to Point with the plan of being here for four years,” said junior Jim Nasium. “I watched curling during the Olympics and thought it looked easy so I’m going to try out.”
It has been a whirlwind week for UWSP athletics, but the plan is to move forward.
“We will get through this,” said Montgomery. “ We are one Point and we have one team.”