The Sam Houston State University men’s lacrosse team is exploring its options after discovering the team has received a two-year ban.
The team was recently placed under a ban handed down from the Recreational Sports department after falling into a $10,000 debt during the 2016 school year. The team was spending their money as well as additional funds they did not have.
“Most of our veteran players didn’t pay and there was a lack of commitment between the team members which ultimately lead to the breakdown of the men’s lacrosse program,” team president Kenny Jonga said. “As of now, we are under a ban from Rec Sports so we are trying to come back on campus.”
The team is currently trying to raise funds to pay off the hefty debt. They plan on holding a fundraiser, selling lacrosse merchandise as well as possibly doing a carwash in the future.
“Myself and others from the 2016 team are trying to levitate that ban so we can have a program for the future,” Jonga said. “We will also contact previous lacrosse players who have graduated to see if they are willing to donate so we can get the program up and running again.”
Although the team’s debt is $10,000, they plan on taking small steps to reach the full amount.
“I would like to start off with a small goal, so around $2,000,” Jonga said.
With the ban, the team will not be able to return until the fall of 2020. The club plans on assigning new leadership roles for setting a plan to resolve their money management issue.
“There will be more structure and better money management,” Jonga said. “That was a big issue. Our money management ultimately dissolved the program. We would also like a new sense of leadership and more contact with rec sports and vendors. Most importantly we want everybody to know that we have learned our lesson.”
Another main issue the lacrosse team had were the players themselves. The team showed a lack of leadership from the upperclassmen that showed no interest in the club because they were graduating that year.
“Compared to the leadership shown by the underclassmen, they showed that they didn’t wanted to be here,” Jonga said. “That’s why I have hope for my team members because they have a passion for the club unlike the seniors last year.”
With the end of his collegiate career coming to an end, Jonga knows that he will not be able to play lacrosse at SHSU again. He only hopes to get the team back up and running for future Bearkats who look to play the game.
“I’m really the oldest out of the group so I know I won’t be around to see the club come back, but I want there to be a club for those in the future,” Jonga said.
The men’s lacrosse team has a large fan base of students and past lacrosse players. Last year’s alumni game had a huge turn out of fans and former players showing that there is a following for the club. The team hopes that they can reach out to the alumni for their support.
“I would like to think they would,” Jonga said. “They didn’t really help out last year in terms of funds. I’m going to extend my hand and explain to our current situation and ask for their help”
With money being the center issue, fans of the club have the right to question if the team will make the same mistake with the money being donated. The team has stressed that they have learned from their mistake and will move forward from the issue.
“It has crossed my mind a lot,” Jonga said. “Hopefully our alumni and our fan base can understand that mistakes do happen and that we are ready to get on the right path. I really hope they are forgiving.”
The team will look to have a GoFundMe page up and running next month.