Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
February 22, 2024

Student athletes reflect on Division-III athletics at Hopkins

By JEANIE FUNG | March 8, 2022

COURTESY OF ISHAN KALBURGE Hopkins Division-III athletes shared their thoughts on the facilities and resources available to them.

Hopkins Athletics made $11,297,513 in revenue and a total of $70,173 in profits in 2020, but the largest net profits went to the University’s Division-I lacrosse team. How does the University support its Division-III (D-III) undergraduate athletics resources?

In interviews with The News-Letter, Hopkins student athletes reflected on the quality of athletics facilities and resources on the Homewood Campus. Many students noted concerns with recent University decisions related to its athletics facilities.

This winter, the University installed a temporary ice rink on the University's tennis courts. Sophomore tennis player James Yu described how practices for the men’s tennis team were disrupted by the installation.

“We drove to different indoor courts that are 20 to 30 minutes away,” he said. “I guess the problem is more that we aren’t sure if the quality of our courts will be the same after the ice rink is taken away.”

Yu also feels that new equipment could encourage more of the student body to support their matches. He noted that even though tennis is a relatively popular sport, turnout at matches is usually low. He hopes the University will invest in installing new bleachers at the sides of the courts for spectators.

Sophomore Shayan Sadiq also noted issues with the water polo facilities. According to him, the team’s pool, located in the Ralph S. O’Connor Recreation Center, is shallower and smaller than indoor pools at many other universities on the East Coast. He told The News-Letter about upgrades he hopes to see.

“I’d love to see a moveable bulkhead added to the pool so that we can use the deep diving well as part of our games,” Sadiq said.

With respect to funding, Yu explained that the tennis team funds equipment with the earnings generated in the fall. And according to Sadiq, the men’s water polo team self-funds one or two trips per season because of how small the sport is.

Sophomore Taryn Silvernale, a member of the women’s track and field team, mentioned in an interview with The News-Letter that there have been complaints about the lack of poles needed for pole vaulters and the lack of indoor facilities for jumps and training. However, she is appreciative of her head coach for working hard to sort it out.

“Anything we don’t have, like an indoor pole vault facility, [the head coach] works to get us, so we have transportation and time slots at Towson for that,” Silvernale said.

Despite these complaints, many student athletes feel that the quality of resources and equipment provided exceeds their expectations. 

“We have our brand new weight room, which is wonderful, and access to a lot of different facilities,” Silvernale said. “I’ve never felt like I needed something and wasn’t able to get it somehow.“

Junior fencer Kent Kotaka agreed, noting that the new varsity weight room renovation was a significant upgrade.

“We got newer equipment, more trainers and services like the snack bar,” he said. “[The fencing room] was also relocated to a different room, which is larger and has a separate storage room.” 

Freshman baseball player Tyler Sugrim feels that the Hopkins facilities and equipment are some of the best in D-III baseball.

“Lots of the technology we have access to I never had access to before, like the Rapsodo,” he said. “We also have good coaching so that’s a huge resource... and a whole training facility so players can get treatment for injuries.”

Yu similarly noted that the resources offered by physical trainers and the rehabilitation room cover almost any remedial solution athletes might need, including ice, heating and massages.

Some students, like Kotaka, acknowledged that the University could do more for D-III sports team beyond maintaining facilities. He believes Hopkins Athletics should conduct more outreach to involve the general student body in D-III athletics. Yu agreed and said he hopes to see more connection between the student body and student athletes.

Yu is working with his team to encourage as many people as possible to show up to their upcoming match on Sunday, April 17.

“Emory beat us in the final four last year, and this is basically a rematch,” said Yu. “We want as many people there to be as loud as possible.” 

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