On behalf of the women’s and men’s basketball teams of Bushnell University, Oregon Institute of Technology and the College of Idaho, we are writing to question the double standard in Oregon college athletics, as fellow basketball players Abby Kreiser and Kristin Farrell highlighted in their Dec. 2 op-ed, “Oregon should let us play sports, too.” If it’s safe enough for some to play basketball, then it is safe enough for all. While we support the Oregon Division I programs, we want standards established so the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) can have the same opportunity and experience that the Division I schools are getting.
The Cascade Collegiate Conference, of which Bushnell University and Oregon Institute of Technology participate in, has a plan to play with weekly COVID-19 testing that has been sent to the Oregon Health Authority, but they have yet to approve it. Our time, commitment and experience at the NAIA level is just as important and valid as NCAA Division I athletes.
To date, we have not practiced and are not close to a game, yet on Nov. 28, the University of Portland hosted NAIA William Jessup and Oregon State hosted NAIA Montana Western. Shouldn’t we be the teams playing our Division I schools? We haven’t even been cleared to play Corban University, in Salem. This defies common sense. We simply do not understand the inequity demonstrated by our state between competitive levels.
Sarah Reinecker and Morgan McKinney
Reinecker and McKinney are members of the Bushnell University basketball team and live in Eugene.