Simpson athletics role with economic punches

by Tim LoneStaff Writer

The country’s current economic recession has finally reached the world of sports, as the way student-athletes are being recruited is being reevaluated. Coaches and administrators are working hard to make Simpson both affordable and appealing to recruits.

President John Byrd said one of the more important things being done by the college is not only staying focused on recruiting new students, but also retaining those that are already here.

“A large part of our income budget comes from tuition,” Byrd said. “So one of the most important things we’re doing is re-doubling our efforts in the recruitment and retention of students. We want to attract new students while retaining those that are already here.”

Byrd also commented on the importance of recruiting athletes, since such a large percentage of incoming students are involved with athletics.

“Athletic programs have always been important to our students,” Byrd said. “As a result, they are an important part of our recruitment success. In a typical year about 45 percent of our freshmen come in connected in one way or another to the athletics program.”

Athletic Director John Sirianni talked about how the athletic department has addressed the economic issues with all of Simpson’s coaches, and what this year will be like for the department.

“We have addressed this with all of our coaches and our recruiting plans in that this year will probably be more stressful than any of the years in the recent past,” Sirianni said.

Sirianni also discussed the kinds of issues that families considering sending their son or daughter to Simpson are facing, such as how much these families can pay for college or are willing to pay for college and questions about what’s going to happen with their jobs in the near future.

“All of these factors deal with each family’s ability to pay and willingness to pay,” Sirianni said.

Football coach Jim Glogowski says the most important thing to try and pitch to the recruits at a time like this is the value of the education that they’ll receive here at Simpson.

“I think the first thing you try to sell is the fact that education is forever,” Glogowski said.

Glogowski also said he thinks there has maybe been an increase in the number of visits this year because perspective student-athletes are making sure they make the right choice for where they go to school.

“Certainly we’re seeing people shopping around a little bit more,” Glogowski said. “Maybe even an increase in visits because kids want to look around a little bit more. They want to make sure they’re getting the best education for the value and that type of thing.”

Sirianni said the important thing to do right now is to sell recruits on the opportunities that will be presented to them beyond athletics.

“What we have done, what we’re trying to do, in terms of our recruiting process, is to really re-emphasize what we believe we are anyway,” Sirianni said. “The value that a student gets by coming to Simpson College, the opportunity for a much broader and more in-depth, total education.”