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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Athletics calls crew team a club

Published: September 23, 2005
Section: News

The Brandeis Athletics Department will no longer fund the Brandeis Crew Team.

We had a new AD [Athletic Director] take over last year, and she examined our entire structure, said Tom Rand, the Assistant Athletic Director for Clubs, IM, and Recreation Sports. The way its set up is that the student clubs are funded by the Student Union. The crew team was the only [club sport] getting money from the athletic department.

This policy was scrutinized and ultimately discarded by the new Athletic Director, Sheryl Sousa The funding for crew that happened in years past [from the athletic department], that was inconsistent to the way clubs were funded at Brandeis, so we decided to fix that this year, Sousa said. Were certainly supportive of crew and all our clubs, but thats the way its structured.

The 2004-2005 season was the last season the Club sport received funds from the Athletics Department. The club used its last $3000 for rehiring their head coach, Ellen Gownes.

The Brandeis Crew team was founded in 1986 by Al Faierman 87 and Steve Simons 88, as they raced Holy Cross on Lake Quinsigamond. Since their inception nearly 20 years ago, the Brandeis Crew team has had some amazing victories, such as Gold Medals in both the 1994 and 1998 New England Rowing Championships, in the Mens Varsity Lightweight Four and the Womens Varsity Four, respectively.

The removal of Athletics Department funding, has reduced the clubs funding by one-fourth. The Student Union gives the crew team $9,000. Because of the sports exhaustive needs, the cut in funds has put Brandeis Crew in dire straits according to club representatives. Additional fundraising has been planned in order to keep member dues at their current level, but it remains to be seen whether or not the amount of money Brandeis Crew needs will be met.

$9000 [was] actually a big loss for us, said Rachael Zuckerman 07, the Clubs treasurer. Crew is an expensive sportwe spend [money] on gas for launches, we spend it on boathouse dues, which are $4000 a semester, she said. We also have to pay our coacheswe pay about $8000 per semester [on them alone].

Zuckerman commented on the events with a resignation mirrored by many of her teammates. Right now, crew is a growing sport throughout the country, she said. We see it as a shame that our team is being cut down.

Francesca Amdurer 07, the Clubs alumni secretary and a crew member for three years, expressed her frustration over the teams image to the Athletics Department. I think crew is as intense as swimming or running or any of the other sports that get funding, she said . I really dont even know why we dont get any money.

She credited this to the sort of limbo the crew team is in, being a club sport with all the intensity of a varsity sport. Were building our foundations a bit, Amdurer said. Were just trying to break out into the Brandeis community, trying to get recognized.