Award-winning student news since 1978

The Brookhaven Courier

Award-winning student news since 1978

The Brookhaven Courier

Award-winning student news since 1978

The Brookhaven Courier

Funding prevents men’s soccer

By Diana Abou-Saleh
Sports & Managing Editor

Brookhaven College Student Sami Alaraj glances at his cell phone screen. He scrolls down his contact list to a group he titled “Soccer guys.”

Alaraj types “Let’s meet at 2:30” and presses send. As the group of 16 male students assembles, they kick a soccer ball around on Brookhaven’s athletic field.

The group does not have uniforms or an official name, but the members refer to it as the Zenith Football Club.

Brookhaven has four athletic teams: men’s baseball, men’s basketball, women’s volleyball and women’s soccer.

From the mid-1980s until 1993, Brookhaven had only one soccer program: men’s. However, in 2004, women’s soccer was added. The men’s program was canceled due to budgetary constraints and other issues.

“We have no money,” Lynne Levesque, Brookhaven athletic director, said. “Our budget doesn’t get any bigger every year; it stays flat.”

The last time men’s soccer was offered at Brookhaven was 2005-2006.

“We truly couldn’t find qualified coaches that had master teaching degrees,” Levesque said.“Everyone wants to be a soccer coach
because they are club coaches, and that’s completely different from a college athletic program.”

The Title IX law is another factor for the lack of a soccer program. “The Federal Law that we have to abide by is Title IX,” Levesque said. “The law is there to keep everything equal and provide opportunities.”

According to, Title IX was part of the Educational Amendments of 1972. The Educational Amendments state that an organization receiving financial support must provide gender equity in all educational programs.

“So, when about 60 percent of our student population on this campus is female, we tend to have to provide more opportunities to them because there are more female students,” Levesque said.

In regard to sports, Title IX requires that an institution spend the same amount of money on a female team as it would on a male team.

“So, that’s why we’ve had a nice balance,” Levesque said. “We have two men’s sports and two women’s sports.”

Levesque said it is a challenge finding eligible men who are dedicated on the field and in the classroom. “They would [hypothetically] enroll in 12 hours just so they can go play soccer, they’d never go to class, and they’d end up flunking their classes,” Levesque said.

“Young women tend to be more focused on both their academics and playing,” Levesque added.

Expenses are also a factor. Levesque said the “bare bones” to start and continue with an athletic program is approximately $30,000.

Dayna Davenport, women’s head soccer coach, agreed with Levesque’s point about budgetary constraints.

“The main reason we don’t have a guy’s soccer program is due to funding,” Davenport said. “If they funded a guys’ program, they’d have to fund another girls’ program at the same time due to Title IX.”

Levesque said that, with the exception of Mountain View College and Richland College, all of the Dallas County Community College District schools have dropped their men’s soccer programs for the same reasons. Levesque said that in order to play against other teams, Mountain View and Richland usually travel more and spend more money.

Davenport said if there was a men’s soccer team it would not have any impact on the women’s soccer team. “It would be a good camaraderie,” Davenport said.

She added that she probably would not consider coaching men’s soccer because the playing styles of men and women are different.

“Even if we had money, and if we brought men’s soccer back,” Levesque said, “you have to show the big bosses that what you are doing in an entire athletic program, not just by sport, but collectively, has an educational basis and that these kids are performing well in the classroom.”

Zenith F.C. attempted to join the Dallas Soccer League during the Fall 2011 term but did not make it. Alaraj said as a result, some of the team’s members did not continue playing this semester.

Alaraj said the group helps build “an international relationship” among the players because the group is made up of students from several countries. Alaraj said he disagrees with Levesque’s comment about male students not being serious about school and athletics.

“Last semester, approximately 20 guys would show up, and we were all pretty serious since we wanted to make it to the League,” Alaraj said. “We deserve a chance.”

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