Since the murder of George Floyd at the hands of the police last June, athletes, coaches and administrators within the athletic department have been involved in increasing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in athletics through events, team-based DEI programs and a number of new committees.
ATHLETICS FOR EVERYONE
In a joint statement with the presidents of Colby and Bates, President Clayton Rose announced his strong opposition to two anti-transgender athlete bills currently working their way through the Maine Legislature. If passed, the bills would bar transgender women from playing in elementary, secondary and collegiate sports.
SHARPEN YOUR PENCILS
At the third Bowdoin-Colby-Bates track and field meet this past weekend, two school records fell as the men’s and women’s teams closed out their non-scoring season. On the men’s side, Ajay Olson ’23 earned a new school record in the 100 meter dash (10.69 seconds), and he just barely missed the school’s 45-year-old 200 meter dash record (21.42 seconds) by 0.2 seconds.
Every September, collegiate athletic departments around the country are required by the U.S. Department of Education and the Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act (EADA) to report their athletic expenses and net revenues, as well as the demographics of their teams, for the previous academic year.
After the Polar Bears split their games last weekend, they were swept by Trinity this past weekend, losing 9-8 in the first game and 9-6 in the second game. Despite the losses, they did see some standout performances.
Softball played a double header against Tufts on Saturday and another double header against Colby on Sunday. The Polar Bears went 2-2, splitting both double headers. After winning in eight innings against Tufts by a score of 11-8, the team dropped the second Saturday game, losing 12-2.
Rescheduling games that had been cancelled due to COVID-19, the athletic department announced that the softball team will play a double-header at Tufts on Saturday and a double-header against Colby at home on Sunday. These games were originally scheduled to be back-to-back home and away double-headers for the weekends of April 10 and 11 against Tufts and April 3 and 4 against Colby.
Highlighting the work of women’s rugby Head Coach MaryBeth Mathews, the U.S. Women’s Rugby Foundation (USWRF) added Bowdoin’s women’s rugby team to their list of the 15 most influential programs in the nation this past March.
ASSIST. AD KEVIN LONEY
Earlier this week, the Athletic Department announced that Kevin Loney, an assistant coach for the football team since 2015, will be promoted to assistant director of athletics for facilities and event management in the fall of 2021.
THE YEAR OF RETIREMENT
A flurry of retirements have been announced in the past month, with three long-term members of the department announcing that they plan to step down from their roles at the end of this academic year.
In a letter to the Bowdoin community sent out last Tuesday, President Rose announced that Bowdoin would be participating in a limited number of athletic competitions this spring. The announcement came on the heels of a decision by the NESCAC presidents to allow individual schools to determine the extent of athletic competition in which they will participate.
Intramural Badminton starts up for the spring semester this week. A grand total of 23 teams have signed up to play. While there isn’t any time left to create teams, people interested in participating can be added to an existing team.
More impressed with their own team’s diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts than the Athletic Department’s, student athletes report general satisfaction with efforts to address DEI issues in athletics, according to a survey of Bowdoin student-athletes recently conducted by the Orient.
In an email to the Bowdoin community Thursday afternoon, President Clayton Rose announced that, as long as the NESCAC approves intercollegiate competition, “there will in all likelihood be a full athletic schedule in the fall.” However, he is not as confident about the probability of attendance at sporting events by local residents or family members.
Starting off as a local kid who just wanted to see the world, Dale Arnold ’79, P’07, found his hometown college, Bowdoin, to be his gateway into a fascinating career in sports broadcasting.
Arnold’s journey from a neighborhood kid in Brunswick to a top-class sportscaster for the New England Sports Network (NESN) began by doing play-by-play for football games when he was just 15 years old.
NCAA MIGHT WAIVE ROSTER MINIMUMS
In an announcement on Wednesday, the Division III (DIII) Membership Committee recommended waiving the sports sponsorship requirement for spring sports. If approved by the DIII Administrative Committee, there will be no minimum number of rostered players required for teams to be sponsored.
OPEN FOR BUSINESS
Bowdoin’s athletic facilities will open on Monday as the campus entered “yellow” status this past Wednesday. However, the hours are scaled back, and the athletic department has implemented an array of safety precautions.
Before COVID-19, going for a meal, meeting the team and touring the athletics facilities were all big highlights of recruits’ visits to campus. But not anymore—visiting campus is, at least for now, prohibited, dining halls are closed and many teams are spread out across the country.
Using TikToks shared on their Instagram story, Bowdoin’s Athletes of Color Coalition (AoCC) is celebrating Black History Month by highlighting different Black stories, broadcasting Black accomplishments and pointing out the propagation of Black stereotypes.
“We wanted to focus on acknowledging people of color and Black people’s stories,” Angelina Mayers ’23, one of the AoCC’s social media coordinators, said in a Zoom interview with the Orient.
Late last month, the NESCAC formed a Coalition of Student-Athletes of Color (CoSAoC) with representatives from all 11 member schools. The announcement describes their mission statement as trying to “encourage dialogue and solidarity around issues of race.” The coalition aims to work with all member schools’ athletic departments in their pursuit to support student-athletes of color, and they will encourage the diversification of athletic departments across the conference.
The Bowdoin Student Athlete Advisory Committee (BSAAC) and the Athletes of Color Coalition (AoCC) collected responses from over 450 student-athletes this past week in a survey emailed to all athletes about issues of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).
Throughout the semester, athletes and coaches on all varsity teams, along with rowing and men’s rugby, have designed action plans to address issues of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). The plans, which are works in progress, show commitments to educating their teammates, but some athletes feel that more concrete steps are needed to fully address issues of DEI within their teams.
This fall, 78 members of the Bowdoin athletic community have been recognized as Academic All-NESCAC. Even though there was no formal athletic competition this fall, the conference acknowledged athletes’ academic achievements as they do every year.
Intramural badminton has adapted to the College’s health guidelines without losing its spirit of competition or its fun atmosphere.
“I thought [badminton] was a good way to get out of my room, especially because it’s different with COVID this year,” Ben Heinrich ’23 said in a FaceTime interview with the Orient.
FOR THE COMMON GOOD
Women’s soccer has taken advantage of their virtual season this fall to raise over $40,000 for different organizations around New England. Beginning with a virtual 5K for Maine Inside Out, an organization that reaches out to those who have been incarcerated and experienced structural racism, the team raised almost $3,000 in partnership with the volleyball team.
Bowdoin’s athletes turned out to vote on Tuesday, according to the Bowdoin Orient’s Election survey. Of the 328 athletes who responded to the survey, 321 athletes, or 97.9 percent of the total, said they planned to vote.
AN EXTRA YEAR
Yesterday, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Presidents announced that all Division III athletes can compete in athletic competitions and practices this academic year without losing a season of eligibility. This is a one-time waiver, and the Presidents hope that it will allow student athletes to have more flexibility in deciding their academic plans for the spring 2021 semester.
DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION WEBSITE
With the rollout of its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Action Plan, the Athletic Department has also created a new webpage that has a list of resources for students in minority groups on campus.
The NESCAC Presidents’ decision to cancel competition this winter disappointed Bowdoin’s winter athletic community. However, it was not unexpected and plans are well underway to create a meaningful experience for winter athletes.
While there is still a small possibility that formal competition between schools with similar coronavirus protocols could occur, Ashmead White Director of Athletics Tim Ryan stresses that the department’s focus will be providing an alternative high-quality experience for winter athletes.
In recent years, there has been a higher general level of acceptance in the Bowdoin athletic community towards students who identify as LGBTQ+ and non-binary than existed previously. However, student athletes who identify with one or more of these terms still often grapple with particular challenges that vary according to their unique identity and the culture of their team.
The presidents of New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) member schools announced October 8 that all regular season competition as well as championships for the 2020/2021 winter season are cancelled.
In their announcement, the presidents of the NESCAC member schools pointed to limited off-campus travel, restrictions on visitors to campuses, and strict social distance protocols as reasons for cancelling the season.
Both the men’s and women’s soccer teams were awarded College Team Academic Awards by the United Soccer Coaches Colleges Services Program this past week for their academic achievements during the 2019-2020 academic year. Every rostered member of both teams maintained a GPA of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale for the entirety of the academic year.
TIME FOR A BREAK
Fall break is almost here, and the athletic department has worked hard to make sure that students on campus can sweat out all their anxieties in the athletics facilities over the weekend.
OPEN FOR BUSINESS
Bowdoin’s athletic facilities opened this week after the College maintained a “yellow” campus level for over a week-and-a-half. However, the facilities’ hours are scaled back, and the athletic department has implemented many safety precautions.
Football, cross country, track, baseball, tennis and ice hockey. In 1920, almost all of these Bowdoin athletic teams were funded by a committee outside the College’s budget—the Bowdoin Athletic Association (BAA)—without direct support from the College.
Bowdoin’s athletic department held a mandatory discussion on race for all athletic teams last Wednesday. While it was a first step to getting everyone involved with Bowdoin athletics on the same page about race and the language surrounding race, many students felt as though it didn’t address key problems in the athletic department—most prominently, that of privilege.
With zero active COVID-19 cases at Bowdoin and the College in “yellow” status, the intramural season is going to kick off this weekend! New intramurals like cornhole, croquet, frisbee golf and power walk rugby are open to all students on campus.
Channeling the momentum for racial justice activism sparked by the killing of George Floyd this May in Minneapolis, Preston Anderson ’22, a member of the Bowdoin sailing team, led the charge to change his conference’s bylaws and to implement mandatory race relations training in the New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association (NEISA).
The National Football League (NFL) started its season this week with a game last night between the reigning champion, the Kansas City Chiefs, and the Houston Texans. With an approach more similar to Major League Baseball (MLB) than the National Basketball Association (NBA), the NFL will likely navigate the same uncertainties that the MLB has dealt with: coronavirus outbreaks, players breaking rules and possibly rescheduling games.
For many athletes, the community they find in their team is one of the most rewarding aspects of their Bowdoin experience. For some athletes of color, though, their teams have not been a supportive community. Instead, bias incidents have continued to arise, and discussions about race have fallen by the wayside.
NESCAC RULES CHANGE
On July 10, the NESCAC revised its rules to allow for coaches to train athletes year-round, or until the COVID-19 pandemic no longer affects conference play. The move had to be unanimously approved by the presidents of NESCAC member schools.
In his message to the campus community about the College’s fall plans last Monday, President Clayton Rose announced that fall and winter sports will be cancelled through January 1. However, first years, who will be on campus, will still be allowed to train with coaches and fellow teammates in small group settings.
Normally, warmer spring weather means road race season in towns and cities across the country, but with the dangers of COVID-19, many of these fundraising racing events have been shut down. Despite the cancellation of road races, the current crisis has inspired more and more people to donate money to relief funds and to give back to their communities.
With gyms around the country closed, weightlifters, athletes and anyone looking to get stronger during quarantine are dealing with new problems of access. The solution?
Trees, and sometimes decks.
Members of Bowdoin’s strength and conditioning communities are inventing creative ways of building muscle and staying active.
In a decision that shocked collegiate athletes across the country, the NCAA cancelled all remaining winter championships as well as the entire spring athletics season March 12 due to concerns about the coronavirus (COVID-19).
It took only a few minutes for the news to reach the five members of the women’s track and field team who had already made the trip to Winston-Salem, N.C., for the Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships.
With open minds and honest language, student athletes confronted the effects of race on their teams and the inclusiveness—or lack thereof—of Bowdoin’s athletic culture Wednesday night at the Athletes of Color Coalition’s (AOCC) fourth iteration of “Intersections of Race in Athletics.”
After a one-year hiatus, the event returned this year to create a forum for student athletes of color to express frustrations, concerns and fears about being part of majority-white teams, sharing testimonies targeted at the heart of racial issues presented on Bowdoin teams.
Just one week removed from the excitement and disappointment of the Bowdoin-Colby game last weekend, the 4-1 loss seems like a distant memory for the Bowdoin men’s hockey team. It is driven to finish off the season on a high note and secure a home first-round playoff game for the first time in four years.
After finishing with the program’s worst-ever record of 3-19-2 (2-13-1 NESCAC), making them the only team to miss out on the NESCAC tournament last winter, the Bowdoin women’s varsity ice hockey team has made strides to correct last year’s faults and return to the NESCAC playoffs.
In the first quarter of Sunday’s 27-5 victory over the University of New England (UNE) (2-6) at Mignone Field at Harvard University in Allston, Mass., the women’s rugby team did exactly what it needed to do to clinch its first Division III National Intercollegiate Rugby Association (NIRA) championship game: go down by a try after the first possession.
After winning a tight playoff game against Norwich University this past weekend, the women’s rugby team turns its attention to this weekend, when it will face the University of New England (UNE) in the National Intercollegiate Rugby Association (NIRA) Division III championship game, hosted by Harvard University.
Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) passed a resolution Wednesday supporting the College’s wage increase for housekeepers. The resolution was unanimously approved after BSG debated the terms of the resolution, adding an amendment supporting continuing engagement with this issue and removing language about specific wages.
Following a contentious debate, the Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) decided to delay a vote to ratify a statement supporting housekeepers until the upcoming Wednesday meeting on October 23.
The meeting began with public comment time, which led to a wide-ranging discussion of the proposal and labor issues at the College that lasted the duration of the meeting.
After finishing the last season with both teams in the top 10 at the NCAA Division III New England Regional Competition, the Bowdoin women’s and men’s cross-country teams kicked off a fresh season with a strong performance at the first Bowdoin Invitational last weekend.