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Put Them in, Coach! UC Merced Grooming the Field for Sports Program

September 8, 2006

MERCED - The roster of great college sports matchups - Berkeley
vs. Stanford, UNC vs. Duke and UCLA vs. USC - will someday include
UC Merced.

The new university’s goal of having competitive sports teams is
in sight. The first team to form is the Competitive Sports
Committee, which will determine the first sports programs UC Merced
will offer.

Students are interested in crew, swimming, water polo, baseball,
volleyball, soccer and cross country. In fact, tryouts have already
been held for a baseball team, and participants say they’re ready
to take the field.

“The students have been the driving force behind the development
of competitive sports,” said David Dunham, Director of Campus
Recreation and Athletics. “They are ready to put on their UC Merced
jerseys and represent their campus.”

All sports launched will be competitive clubs that compete
against other universities’ clubs. Competition could involve any of
the UC sister campuses, as well as many of the CSU schools.

UC Merced teams might also have opportunities to compete on
regional and national levels, including vying for national championships.

The new committee - made up of community members, students and
UC Merced faculty and staff - are charged with evaluating student
interest in various sports; developing the criteria for accepting
competitive sports teams; determining budget requirements for each
sport; investigating potential facilities for competition and
practice; and

making recommendations on what competitive sport clubs to
launch during the 2006-2007 school year.

The committee will meet weekly through September, and deliver a
report to Jane Lawrence, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, by
early October.

Once that has been completed, another committee, made up of
students, faculty, staff, community members and athletics
administrators, will develop a master plan for the intercollegiate
sports programs at UC Merced.

The sports teams forming this year are likely to be the
foundation for the campus’s transition to the NCAA Division III
level in the future.

“We are looking forward to bringing our students, faculty and
staff together with the community to help shape the development of
athletics at UC Merced,” Dunham said. “The community has been
tremendously supportive of our campus, and once again, people show
their support by working side-by-side with students to create a
student-centered vision for athletics.”

Competitive Sports Committee members:

Students:

PJ Solomon

Mary Panos

Ruben Rodriguez

Cody Martin

Nadim Fawzy

Community:

Greg Bradford

Mike Carpenter

Erin Hamm

Jennifer Euker

Vince Clemons

George Kelley

Corbett Browning

Scott Hunter

Campus:

David Dunham, Director of Recreation and Athletics

Mike Campbell, Associate Vice Chancellor for University
Relations

James Ortez, Assistant Dean of Social Sciences, Humanities
& Arts