EDITOR’S NOTE: After speaking with Brett Crandall, head of University Relations, it is important to note that men’s and women’s recreational basketball is not permanently removed from the intramural program. It will be cycled with men’s and women’s competitive basketball as well as co-ed recreational basketball.
When Mik Walburger, a senior studying financial economics, found out from a BYU-Idaho employee that men’s and women’s rec basketball was being removed from the Intramural program, he reached out to his friends to help save his favorite school activity.
Within minutes of sending out a group text, Walburger had heard back from multiple people expressing their own disappointment in the decision. Walburger and others sent emails to Ryan Hansen, BYU-I Students Activities and sports advisor, stating their personal displeasure in the removal of men’s and women’s rec basketball. The exercise proved unsuccessful.
Despite the changes, co-ed basketball and competitive basketball remain an option for students, though Walburger isn’t convinced they serve as substantial substitutes.
“The competition isn’t the same,” Walburger said of co-ed basketball. “The rules are slightly different. You can’t guard a girl the same way you would guard a guy. It’s not that I don’t like girls, it just wouldn’t be the same type of game. You must have a different attitude when you play coed than when you play men’s rec.”
While Walburger feels co-ed basketball is not competitive enough, competitive leagues requires a time commitment of 6 to 10 hours a week.
“I’m in senior level classes and I just don’t have time as well, as I wouldn’t be able to pick my teammates and so I wouldn’t be able to play on the same team as my friends,” Walburger said. “Knowing the people that try out and play competitive, I wouldn’t see a whole lot of playing time.”
Walburger hoped that getting others to express their desire for separated men’s and women’s basketball to Hansen would help.
“I thought that maybe if enough people emailed Brother Hansen, he could show people who made the decision (to) remove men’s rec basketball and women’s rec basketball that people cared and they wanted to play,” Walburger said. “That there’s a reason they play men’s and women’s rec basketball instead of competitive and coed. I just thought if people knew about it, there would be people who cared enough to send an email, and if there were enough people who cared enough to send an email, they would maybe add that back in.”
In a statement offered by Hansen, he felt confident in the decisions made for the Intramurals program.
“Sports are offered in different formats each semester by Student Activities,” Hansen said. “We rotate offerings from time to time in an effort to meet needs and interests.”
Not all students were satisfied with the answers they were given in response to their questions. One such student is Joshua Nissinen, a sophomore studying business management.
Nissinen was happy to help when Walburger reached out, though he was confused by why it was happening in the first place.
“I thought it was nuts,” Nissinen said. “It would make more sense if they would do that during spring time or even fall for that matter. Why winter of all semesters to cut indoor sports, because that’s all we can do. It didn’t make much sense to me.”
Nissinen chose to play co-ed basketball this semester, while Walburger opted out.
“Both are fun, but both are very different,” Nissinen said.