Athletics director opens SGA meeting by discussing more potential athletic infrastructure

Matthew Fulkerson, SGA reporter

With upbeat music and friendly conversations, another meeting by the Student Government Association begins. A major face in school athletics spoke and more events for Black History month were set at the meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 7.

Todd Stewart, director of athletics, was the guest speaker of the 18th meeting of the 22nd Senate. He talked about the WKU athletics program and its achievements. 

He opened by saying “our athletes are true student athletes.” 

“11 of our 14 sports programs have a 1000 Academic Progress Rate (APR) which is perfect, and the other three that don’t, all have an APR of 970,” Stewart said. 

APR is a measurement used by the National Collegiate Athletic Association to find the chances of the graduation of a student athlete. 

Stewart also stated how men’s basketball was a “disappointment this year,” but did state how, “[WKU] won eleven games against Power 5 and Mont Zulu.” 

Stewart said softball, a “strong program,” starts this weekend, and that baseball begins next week. 

He also mentioned a facility project for the soccer program that will be finished in June. Stewart said  the press box in the L.T. Smith Stadium will be replaced next year and WKU will “break ground in a couple months” on an indoor facility between the football and baseball stadiums, tearing down the baseball clubhouse. 

“It actually will benefit areas that are even beyond athletics,” Stewart said. “[The] band will be able to practice in there on a regular basis.” 

Stewart said the facility will benefit the forensics department and E-Sports as well because they will be able to use the space.

Stewart was questioned about why there are less sports teams, such as no longer having a men’s soccer team, despite its popularity, to which he brought up the cost of scholarships, travel and coaching staff. 

Stewart proposes that in 2025, “we will definitely be in the best position we have ever been in an athletic standpoint with facilities.” 

Throwback Thursday is an event held in the Intercultural Student Engagement Center on behalf of Black History Month. Salvador Leon, International Senator, says the event will feature a lip sync battle, trivia and other activities. Throwback Thursday takes place on Thursday, Feb. 16. 

Reporter Matthew Fulkerson can be contacted at [email protected].