Students who want to pursue sports as a career must have the proper tools for them to achieve their goals, he said.
Yet, the district’s attorney Martha McCabe said that it was incorrect to say that the college district canceled sports programs from playing against sanctioned teams because of insurance, but rather canceled them because the board of trustees had stopped intercollegiate gaming in 1999.
“The problem arose because someone had asked about insurance for sports,” she said.
She said that unless the board is going to insure teams to play against intercollegiate teams, then teams cannot play against them.
All of the college presidents met with the coaches to inform them about the reasons for disbanding teams who regularly played sanctioned programs, which were mainly because of insurance and liability issues.
“To me, it doesn’t make sense,” Kerkez said. “We invite Our Lady of the Lake to play, cover them in our facility, why do we need insurance to cover them?”
He added that the district does not need to cover other teams because they are covered by their own insurance.
Yet, he said he does understand the travel aspect of the insurance problem but argued other teams could play against teams on this campus.
“I see why insurance doesn’t cover us to travel, but not to play someone,” he said. “Why can’t another team play us here?”
This helps other college students with their goals, but students are left behind when it comes to having the same opportunities as other students and must come up with their own solutions to the problem, he said.
He suggested that if the district wants to hold to policy, they need to let teams play in leagues. For example, in volleyball they could play in the National Intramural-Recreation Sports Association, or NIRSA.
If the volleyball team were in NIRSA, members would be covered by insurance and have better opportunities to compete against stronger teams, he said.
He was quick to bring attention to the fact that the kinesiology department is in charge of the facilities in which the volleyball team practices.
“The facilities are made more available to nonstudents,” he said. “It might bring a little money in, but the students are affected. They should support the students, then give facilities to external customers if available. Programs here suffer because they give facilities away.”
He said he wants the district offices to communicate with the coaches to resolve the issue.
“All parties should have a say,” Kerkez said. “Some may not know anything about the inner workings, while others do and what options could be taken. Everyone should be coming together on it, but they are not coming together.”
He suggested that a discussion could be opened, so a solution could come about.
“I’m not opposed to their point of view,” he said. “For me, it’s giving the girls opportunities to build on their skills and get scholarships.”
He added that two players from the volleyball team have received scholarships from Our Lady of the Lake and have 80 percent to 90 percent of their tuition and cost covered.
Giving the same opportunities in the future will be difficult because they will not be playing against the same teams, he said.
“College recruiters do not go and look at other players,” he said. “They see you if you play them, or they don’t see you. So, they need to come together and find a resolution.”