By Adam Hallenbeck & Mike Maruk – Sports Editor & 1851 Staff
Every year, the athletics department prepares for change. There is a change of roster, change of schedules and change of opponents. This year, they must prepare for a new type of change-the change of a school name.
On Aug. 15, the school announced that it had been granted university status by the State Board of Higher Education. In February 2018 however, momentum picked up heavily on the discussions held.
“The Board [of Trustees] asked us to look into it…we formed a University Status Study Group, 18 people led by Professor Nancy Waldren… doing research on a variety of areas. They came back last November with a recommendation to make the change,” said President Michael Alexander.
As soon as the change was announced, the school began their revamp. While the blue hues and Boomer aren’t going anywhere, there are other changes that need to happen in the two-year plan to redesign the campus. The new school logo was released on the athletics’ website, along with their new website design on Aug. 15 to coincide with the school’s announcement.
Since the logo has changed, that also means that some of the clothing and sports equipment have to be updated as well. Items such as sports bags, athletic apparel,eld hockey skirts, and select jerseys were on the x list.
“The two cross-country teams and volleyball uniforms actually said Lasell College. The rest of the uniforms just said Lasell,” said Cherrington. This was a step ahead of the game for the department. As for the older clothes, they are going to be used for the next few years until they decide to put money into buying new uniforms.
Coaches were one of the first considerations for obtaining Lasell University gear, since their work goes beyond the regular season. They need to travel and represent the Lasell name while participating in recruiting, league meetings, and showcases.The areas of play, such as the sports fields and the banners on them, have to be updated. Cherrington said, “a lot of our facilities, like the scoreboard out here, the soccer field says Lasell College. The scoreboard up at Grellier Field says Lasell College. The gym floor says Lasell College, I think they are going to do that over Christmas break.”
With the change of the name, there were discussions if other changes could be made in athletics, including the possibility of a football team. Unfortunately for football fans, changes won’t be made anytime soon. “When I first interviewed for the position [in 2007], the applicants were given the chance to meet the students. I asked what the community wanted and everybody in the community wanted us to look at football, so we entered an investigation…neither field we have is big enough for NCAA requirements, they aren’t wide enough,” said President Alexander.
He continued saying the only place a football team could play would be off-cam- pus. “Even if we had a way to practice and play football at Brandeis, we wouldn’t getthe school spirit benefit out of it. I don’tknow how many people would go, I don’t know what it would add,” said the President.
In the eyes of the school, it seems thatthe bene ts wouldn’t meet the costs of run- ning the program. The costs of having a football team would exceed $650,000 in expenses to create the group, plus the amount to get the equipment, uniforms, and proper protective gear. “It took months, but we reached the conclusion that football wasn’t for us,” said Alexander.
Besides the physical changes, the ethics and goals are still the same for Lasell athletics, according to Athletic Director Kristy Walters. “I don’t think we are doing things differently, we have always tried to be a competitive program and present a good product to the student athletes… the change itself has been something to hang on to in terms of getting our name out there… we still want to be a strong Division III program, that will not change,” said Walters.