Indiana University President Pamela Whitten has expressed exciting plans for the future of Indiana University Indianapolis (IUI) following the announcement of the split between Indiana University and Purdue earlier this year. Although Whitten's goal is a positive one, there are questions about how this split will affect IU Indianapolis Athletics and whether it will affect how incoming student-athletes feel about playing here now that certain programs have been cut.
Programs leaving IU Indianapolis and being integrated into Purdue's West Lafayette campus include engineering, computer science and technology. However, the cutting of these programs does not seem to cause concern for IU Indianapolis and its athletic department.
According to the Senior Associate Athletic Director Edgar Holdaway, there is a positive attitude directed toward the future of athletics at IU Indianapolis.
"[The split] does limit some of the academic offerings that we’ll be able to provide incoming student-athletes, but we also believe that it’ll strengthen the bond between IUB and our campus, and that energizes us," Holdaway said. "I’m confident our student-athletes will be excited to represent Jaguar Athletics and be part of something special on this campus."
However, Holdaway did acknowledge that change does not come without difficulties, but the athletic department is committed to helping spearhead the continual growth moving forward.
Head coach of the men's soccer team, Sid Van Druenen, agreed that the split holds great opportunities for future athletics at IU Indianapolis.
"Early on in the recruitment process, recruits have a lot of questions, but the split makes sense to them once explained. I think with time it will actually simplify the recruitment process as we will fall under one entity (IU) instead of two (IU and Purdue), and everyone will recognize the IU academic brand," Van Drueren said.
Van Druenen holds no concerns that future recruitment will be a problem, as long as they target the right players, know their academic interests and set expectations early.
For current Purdue players on the men's soccer team, the split has caused some concerns.
"We have a couple of guys that are Purdue students, and we are waiting to hear the decision on if they will be granted a waiver to still be able to compete. I am sure they are a bit anxious about the situation, but we hope to hear soon on the final decision," Van Drueren said.
Sophomore, Josemir Gomez, is currently a forward for the men's soccer team and pursuing a Purdue engineering degree. He expressed the anxieties he’s felt since the announcement of the split.
“Honestly, I've been really anxious to hear more details about the split. Right now I don’t know much about the situation,” Gomez said. “I’ve heard a couple of different things and I'm unsure what's true or not. I hope it doesn’t affect student-athletes academically because it would be unfair for all the hours and work they’ve put in just for it to not count at the end of the day.”
Emma Oxenrider is a senior majoring in Journalism and Public Relations.