COLUMBUS, Miss. -- In a first step toward a potential return to athletics for Mississippi University for Women, President Jim Borsig announced today [Jan. 11] at a university convocation that The W would move forward with the search for an athletics director.
He also announced that Dr. Rita Hinton, professor emerita of philosophy, would serve as the interim faculty athletics representative during the organizational stage. Dr. Hinton was serving in that position when The W ended intercollegiate athletics.
“This is a commitment to launch a multi-year effort that seeks our return to intercollegiate athletics, incorporating both women’s and men’s sports,” he said. He emphasized that success would depend on identifying membership in an appropriate conference, enhancing and building sports facilities and generating private support to grow athletic programs.
“This is not an easy undertaking, and I want to be perfectly clear that we have thoughtfully entered the process understanding the challenges,” he said. The decision comes following campus-wide input expressing support and the recommendations of an in-depth study conducted by Atlanta-based Athletics Staffing and Consultants.
“Participants in wide-ranging discussions have expressed the belief that athletics will enhance the student life experience at The W and bring increased vitality to campus,” Borsig said. “We believe athletics will have long-term benefits for our students and for our university.”
The W discontinued intercollegiate athletics in 2002 following a devastating tornado that destroyed a primary sports venue. At that time, it was a member of the Gulf South Conference and offered sports that included basketball, softball, volleyball, track and field, gymnastics, swimming, tennis and badminton.
“We will be starting from scratch,” Borsig said. A strategy, timetable and next steps will be developed once an athletics director is on board, he said.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan. 11, 2016
Contact: Anika Mitchell Perkins