From the basement: Investments, patience yield results

The first principle stated in Tulane Athletics’ mission statement is “to recognize participation in athletics as an integral part of the educational process.” If Tulane shows the patience to let investment bloom, then students choosing Tulane because of athletics might not be so hard to believe.

Students come to Tulane for an assortment of reasons ranging from academics to the adventures that are promised to us as “only at Tulane, only in New Orleans.” Though it might be hard to believe with Tulane’s current records, some do come for the athletics.

NCAA sports are ingrained in nearly every student’s collegiate life, and Tulane’s athletic program is on the rise. The athletics overhaul of last year has already begun to show results. The football team had a slightly improved record and Coach Fritz’s first full recruiting class yielded 27 new players. Volleyball was named the most improved team in the nation at the end of its season. Women’s basketball has the chance to return to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2014.

The investment that goes into athletics holds a weight that is felt in every aspect of the game. The ticket sales, licensing, marketing and donations become the heartbeat of athletics. Donations especially feed this process, Deputy Athletic Director Monica Lebron explained. Those funds also find their way into a variety of departments throughout Tulane depending upon the donor.

“Some people are going to be passionate about athletics, some people are going to be passionate about the arts, some people are going to be passionate about any number of different things in your own city that have nothing to do with your university,” Lebron said. “It’s not our job to tell the donor what they should give to.”

If Tulane students are to expect athletics to grow and improve, we must also accept the fact that growth and success does not happen overnight. Patience is essential to the long-term investment of a good sports program. We cannot control the opinions of the donors that decide to invest into the Green Wave ethos.

Athletics bring people together. We see it at every tailgate and we feel it during every chant of “The Hullabaloo.”  As a house needs to be built upon a strong foundation, an athletics program must have a strong foundation of investment.

Despite the necessity of funding, the process takes time.In the future, Tulane’s athletics will improve further, ensured by our continued dedication and investment. Until that moment, however, we must be willing to stand by our teams through thick and thin.

“… [Tulane’s investment] goals are going to be to continue to assess where we are at, where our strengths lie, and where, from a revenue generation standpoint, we can stand to improve,” Lebron said. “Just continue to assess, bring best practices here and continue to forge ahead.”

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