The Winners and Losers in the Save UC Davis Affair

Richard Hunkler, PhD.
Water Polo Planet
04/19/10

The Winners

UC Davis Men's Polo UC Davis Women's Water Polo
Let's hope UC Davis has 64 more years of water polo.

There is a saying by Norman MacEwan that reflects on the current good in our water polo community and it is as follows, "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." There are so many positive and good things that have happened in the campaign to save water polo at UC Davis that it will be difficult to list them all and it will be impossible not to leave some of them out. Thus if I forget to mention someone’s contribution in this joyous occasion please forgive me.

It all started from the plea on the WPP message board of a water polo player with the message board name of SCUPolo and the ironic thing about this plea is that it was from a water polo player who played on an opposing team of UC Davis. This started the monetary water polo ball to begin rolling or should I say skipping. Then there were pleas and “thank you's” from Jim Hicks, sidelineview, axehero, Dante, Missy, and Coach-D. The next big push came from the WPP Moderator who placed umpteen thousand posts on the WPP message board soliciting money to save the UC Davis water polo program.

The Moderator even convinced Monique and me to help her create a web page to post on the WPP Home page – a page that would make donating a breeze. This link alone raised over $100,000. In addition the water polo community raised another $150,000. Yes the large donations were appreciated but so were the $5 and $10 donations. Donations from the nickel and dime to the sublime were welcomed and placed ripples of joy up the Bronco’s spine.

The water polo community can pat themselves on their backs for a “job well done” because they have done what Santa Cruz, Grove City, and Slippery Rock were unable to do. Thank goodness the water polo community doesn’t have to hear the song “Another One Bites the Dust”.

In the words of the Vice President of the USA, Joe Biden, "This is a big f-ing deal" for the water polo community to accomplish and everyone should be very proud of their efforts and contributions. We at the WPP web site would like to thank everyone who was a part of this long overdo victory:

UC Davis Victory Lap.

The Losers

The losers in the "Save Water Polo at UC Davis" were not just the participants in women's rowing and men's swimming, indoor track, and wrestling at UC Davis but it is everyone who ever played a collegiate sport. Every collegiate sport that is cut diminishes the opportunity for some student to enjoy the experiences of playing a sport in college and more importantly it also denies those students the life experiences that will help to make them better citizens but also more productive citizens in our society.

I am not talking about experiences that you get from lectures, from reading books, and/or from written assignments which are very important as well. But I am talking about those experiences that teaches the student first hand about commitment, camaraderie, determination, discipline, fair play, sacrifice, how to win with humility and to lose with honor and a slew of other intangible experiences that equip the student with skills that will help them to succeed in today's world.

Why can't universities and colleges hire AD's that have more than one word in their vocabulary of solutions? The word I am referring to is cut, cut, or cut! We need AD's that are proactive not just reactive. AD's who are creative and when they are told they have to "cut" their budget they can do something other than "cut" sports. And AD's who can understand that basketball and football are not just a part of the solution but are also a part of the problem.

The following image borrowed from Jim Hicks is posted here not just for the sports cut at UC Davis but for all the sports cut by dominate left-brain AD's.

For All Sports Cut