By Megan Vick
It’s no secret we support the Save BU Wrestling cause. What’s this cause, you ask? In 2013, Boston University announced they were dropping the wrestling program. Wrestlers, parents, BU faculty, and other BU athletes were outraged and the movement began. Now, athletes across the country are joining together to support the wrestlers and protest against those who made this decision. You can read more about why we support Save BU Wrestling on our post, The Value of a Team.
Here’s the History:
In 2012, New Balance (yeah, the shoe company) donated $3 million to Boston University for a proposed $24 million lacrosse field – before BU had a lacrosse team. New Balance just entered the growing market of lacrosse apparel – convenient, n’est pas? It’s mighty suspicious that a university with no lacrosse team gets a donation from a company who makes lacrosse apparel. The rest of the $21 million was fronted by members of the Board of Trustees.
Well, smack my booty and call me Judy… wouldn’t you guess that BU announced shortly thereafter they were adding a men’s lacrosse team (oh yeah, and a women’s crew team). And the new lacrosse field would be aptly named, New Balance Field. Luckily, the athletic department had a meeting with all sport coaches and the Athletic Director said no sports would be cut to accommodate the 2 new sports. A year later – BU announced they were dropping wrestling after the 2013 – 2014 season.
Title 9 Shenanigans
Don’t you love the word “Shenanigans?” It’s the best word to describe what happened when BU decided to add 2 new sports. A Title 9 expert reviewed the sports program at BU and found it was ridiculously out of compliance, which could cause a pretty hefty lawsuit against BU. Men’s Lacrosse would add 40 men to the program and Women’s Crew would add 15 women. This leaves an excess of 25 men throwing off Title 9 compliance. What’s a university to do? Add a women’s team? No, no – the university drops wrestling. That makes a lot of sense except for the fact that Boston University denied Title 9 was a factor when they decided to drop wrestling. The real conundrum occurred when the Athletic Director was quoted in multiple BU press sources and on a radio interview saying, “Title 9 is always a factor when expanding an athletic program and [BU] had to consider Title 9 in order to add lacrosse.”
Suspicious Ostrich is Suspicious
The Future of BU Wrestling
As of right now, BU is starting to sweat the efforts of the Save BU Wrestling group. Not only are they vocal, but they have also created the Boycott New Balance movement opposing New Balance’s role in events leading up to the discontinuation of Terriers Wrestling. While the movements are strong on campus and through the friends and family of unhappy BU students, it’s important to encourage this effort in the vegan community. Two members of the Board of Trustees, David D’Allessandro and Kenneth Feld, are involved with SeaWorld and Barnum & Bailey Circus, respectively.
By all accounts, both SeaWorld and all animal-based circuses have a track record for animal cruelty (have you seen Blackfish?) and now these two organizations have members who are directly involved with the discontinuation of one of the world’s oldest sports at the country’s most expensive university (yes, more expensive than Duke!). There have been rumors in the BU camp to start a boycott of SeaWorld and Feld Entertainment, owner of Barnum & Bailey Circus. Knowing how long vegans have been actively boycotting these two groups, it only makes sense to join forces to show how powerful this pairing can be.
Be sure to check out the Save BU Wrestling facebook & twitter pages as well as the Boycott New Balance movement.
Share this – reblog it, Facebook it, Tweet it, whatever it is you want to do, share this with the world. Both wrestlers and vegans share the same mentality – Never Give In.
Never. Give. In.