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MIT Tacks Athletics Fee to Tuition

By Dana Levine

At an open forum last night discussing the future of athletics at MIT, administrators indicated that next year’s tuition will include an athletics fee.

When asked to comment on whether the MIT Corporation may include an athletics fee in next year’s tuition, Athletics Central Administrator Richard L. Brewer said, “No, I won’t deny that.”

Athletics Director Richard Hill began the forum by making two important announcements relating to the addition of the athletics fee to tuition: the athletic card will be eliminated next year and the athletics department will receive substantial budgetary increases.

JV teams unlikely to be restored

Athletics administrators said that the budgetary increases would allow the department to support existing programs rather than adding new ones or restoring the recently eliminated Junior Varsity teams. “It really is a matter of bringing the department to sea level,” Brewer said.

Assistant Director of Athletics for Sports Administration John A. Benedick said that the department cut Junior Varsity teams as a size control rather than a cost cutting measure. “The number that we saved on the JV sports was not a number that would astound anyone,” he said.

Associate Head of Athletics Candace L. Royer stated that it would be unlikely that Junior Varsity teams would be added back in the near future. “The new facility isn’t going to address the field space issues that we have. We just aren’t going to be able to [add back JV teams] any time soon.”

Another important issue on the table was the timetable for the construction of a new athletics facility located near the existing Johnson Athletics center on west campus.

“Hopefully by fiscal year 2001, we will begin digging the hole for that wonderful new facility,” Hill said.

Williams stated that the choice in building the new athletic complex is “not really yes or no, but when.”

Hill also emphasized that it is important to open channels of communication between students and administrators. “We have a way to go regarding our communication efforts. We will continue to work hard on that,” he said.

The forum, organized by the Undergraduate Association subcommittee on athletics, included panelists such as Dean for Undergraduate Education Rosalind H. Williams, Dean of Student Life Margaret R. Bates along with Hill, Benedick, and Brewer.