Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass athletics:

This past weekend our campus played host to two thrilling athletic events. The softball team hosted the Atlantic 10 tournament and won it’s ninth consecutive title. They now will move on to NCAA regionals in Tuscaloosa, Ala. later on this week.

Just a short trip down Massachusetts Avenue, the men’s lacrosse team welcomed archrival Hofstra to Garber Field for a first round match in the NCAA tournament. They too were victorious in their quest, advancing onto the NCAA quarterfinals this Saturday. The Minutemen will next battle the Maryland Terrapins.

For those who were able to make either of both events, they were well rewarded with the consistent hard work and dedication of the athletes. If you weren’t able to make it, or felt you had something better to do, you missed out.

With one team (softball) heading to the playoffs every straight year since 1995, and the other (lacrosse) advancing beyond the first round for the second straight year, these athletes once again did their university proud on the grass and turf.

It’s a pleasant surprise to see the UMass Athletic Department and its teams making headlines for positive performance on the field. This hasn’t been the case recently.

With the budget cuts last year, the athletic department scaled back its offerings from 29 teams down to 22, sending a number of student-athletes and their coaches on their way. With more cuts looming on the horizon, rumors are a float that even more teams could be eliminated.

In the past month, more attention than ever has been focused at the mascot representative of UMass: the Minuteman. With the athletic department exploring every possible option to increase revenue and an independent consulting group recommending a change, the idea of student athletes competing as the UMass Gray Wolves has been kindly accepted by practically nobody.

Students, alumni, sports fans in general have all voiced their opinion with a resounding majority about their negative views of the proposed change.

It’s great to have national media attention has been focused on UMass Athletics, but this is the wrong reason.

Saturday the softball team and then Sunday the men’s lacrosse team showed us the right reason.

College athletics is a business and it is one often ripe with scandal, particularly this past year, but in the end it all gets back to student-athletes. Young men and women much like the rest of us, they have to juggle all their academic work with the immense time commitments required on the field for both practice and games. With two of the school’s most successful teams in recent years playing this weekend, they are finally getting the credit that is do.

The softball team will continue to grow in prominence with each Atlantic 10 championship they win and NCAA tournament birth they garner. The men’s lacrosse quarterfinal game will be shown on NESN this Saturday, proving how the Minutemen’s fan base continues to grow.

It’s been a while, but for once UMass Athletics is in the news for the only reason it should be: a team’s performance on the field.

Unsigned editorials represent the majority opinion of The Collegian Editorial Board.

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