‘Where’s the support?’ bowlers inquire

When some people think of the University’s athletic teams, bowling doesn’t usually come to mind.

In fact, a lot of people don’t even know that the team exists.

However, the team intends to change that.

“People don’t know about our home games,” said Domonique Boatman, the bowling team captain. “Our sport is kind of the forgotten sport. Only football, basketball and volleyball get exposure.”

Boatman, a junior psychology student, said she thinks the lack of exposure is because of people being unaware of the team’s home games.

Her team has been fighting with the athletic department for posters to publicize the team’s events.

“They said that we need to fundraise in order to make posters,” she said. “They told us that they don’t have enough money.”

Alvin Hollins Jr., assistant athletic director for external operations, has heard the concerns of Boatman and her team.

He admits to not being able to give the team necessary funding for promotional tools.

“I’ll admit our budgets have not been what we would like them to be,” Hollins said. “We realize that this is something that we must improve on as an athletic department.”

The team coach, Novella Franklin, has been fighting for the team’s exposure for six years, since she began coaching.

“I have no complaints about funding, because I will get everything that I need,” she said. “My complaint is about advertisement.”

With a full-time job in addition to coaching, Franklin cannot devote all of her time to recruiting new players.

She said better advertising would aid in this mission.

She also sees that her team is not well-publicized on campus.

“I send (the athletic department) athlete bios every year, but there is no bio on the Internet,” Franklin said. “People don’t know about our games because the schedule is put on the Internet late.”

The bowling team is a NCAA sport and is also classified as a title nine sport.

Yet, the team feels as though other sports in the same division get more acclaim.

“We went to a tournament last year and came in third place out of 20 teams,” coach Franklin said. “There was no article written up.”

Hollins also admits that the focus of the athletic department is geared more toward “higher profile sports.”

Hollins said since the bowling team’s season is between the months of September and March, there is only one scheduled home game.

The home game this year was scheduled during football season.

This is detrimental to the bowling team because many sports fans are interested in attending the home football games.

“If (the bowling team) had three or four bowling events at home where people could come out and see them, it would help them with more exposure,” Hollins said.

According to him, getting more students interested in the team would help with fundraising.

Boatman said her team is in need of more bowlers.

“Whatever you can do you can contribute,” she said.

The team will host a social at Galimore lanes today 6 p.m. to promote campus involvement.