Championship Good for Fresno State's Image

June 28, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
This NCAA championship win could not come at a better time for Fresno State and university officials say this could mark the beginning of a new era for the Fresno State Athletics Department.University President John Welty has had few opportunities to celebrate as of late, after the barrage of negative publicity the university has endured in the last few years most recently losing two multi-million dollars sexual discrimination lawsuits. "It really is a new era in athletics, with what our successes in the field, the gender equity that we have developed, the improvement in academic performance; all of those things have happened this year," says Welty.

Welty and Athletic Director Thomas Boeh are confident the Bulldogs win in Omaha will only help the university as it works to move forward from the problems of the past and it also helps put the athletic department in a new light. "This is a different athletics department than perhaps the one that has been talked about from 10 years ago," says Boeh.

Boeh points to other successes in the athletic department and says this win, while incredible, is simply another indication of how much the department has changed and what it can achieve. ""Softball has won a national championship, football plays on a national stage on a regular basis, and the women's tennis has been on the national stage for several years now. So every time we have a program that does compete on a national level I think it serves as an inspiration for all of us."

Both President Welty and Thomas Boeh tell me they've received congratulatory emails and phone calls from all over the country and believe the win will not only increase the university's prestige but get more students interested in attending Fresno State.


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