(NEEDS ALOT OF WORK) Rugby club team eyes varsity recognition

Aaron Tadian

With its rising popularity in the United States the Kent State rugby club to hopes to be recognized as a varsity sport in the near future.

There are different types of club sports, ones that are competitive and others that are for fun and recreation.

Kent State’s rugby team, for example, is a competitive club team that takes their game seriously.

Other than the enjoyment and competitiveness of Rugby, the sport teaches life-long skills such as work ethic, leadership and

The rugby team has a select few on the team who prepare their own budgets, uniforms and transportation.

The team, however, does get help from Keegan Gillian, the club’s president who is running the team now.

Gillian’s role is to help clubs with budgeting, from getting coaches/instructors to help with the team during workouts and practices as needed.

“Rugby is a club sport that is run by students, we have to design our own t-shirts, create our own schedules and organize the whole season by ourselves,” Sobe Haribhakti, 22, a former Kent State rugby player said.

Haribhakti said becoming a varsity sport is so crucial.

Haribhakti said that parents called the rugby coach asking if their child were to play Rugby at Kent would they be able to receive scholarship money.

The answer is no.

“Varsity sports are only allowed to give out scholarships and club sports can’t receive any type of grant,” said Gillian.

Students have to pay for uniforms, recruitment, hotels and anything else that a varsity player would be granted.

Haribhakti did mention during his sophomore year when their team went to the sweet 16, the school paid for the charter bus and hotel.

So, why would the school pay for a sweet-sixteen game but not regular season games?

The reason is if Rugby can’t bring national attention to Kent State and provide money for the school, then the athletic department sees no need to add them as a varsity sport.

Rugby is very popular in Europe but is starting to gain popularity in the United States. However, there are only 15 varsity Rugby teams in the United States.

Below is a clip of Kent State’s Rugby team playing BGSU at the Cleveland Browns stadium.

Rugby is very similar to football and there is a lot of non-stop action.

According to Title IX, there has to be an equal number of men and women’s varsity teams on campus.

If Kent decides to move men’s Rugby to a varsity sport than they would have to move a woman’s team to a varsity sport. It’s just a matter of if the school would benefit from adding these sports as a varsity title.