Players Come in First

On Monday July 10th, there was a press conference with the athletic director at American University, Keith Gill, as well as the associate head coach of men’s basketball at American University, Kieran Donohue. Both of the men had some interesting things to say about budget cuts and how AU would handle that.

AU athletic director, Keith Gill, has been at AU for six years. Gill is a big sports man himself, playing football throughout his life, so he knows how strenuous being a student athlete can be. Gill mentions often that he wants athletes to have “a world class experience”. He wants the athletes to have life skills such as, how to write a check, be well equipped, and time management. When asked about the recent budget and the seven athletic program cuts at Maryland University and if a similar situation was to happen at AU, Gill was confident in his answer.

“If there was a budget shortfall the first thing to do wouldn’t be to cut sports. We would look to other ways to do that,” says Gill.

This answer is uncommon because sports programs cost a lot to uphold. When Gill verified that the “administrative expenses” would go first and raises would not be given, it proved the students are put first.

Kieran Donohue, associate head coach for men’s basketball has just finished his 12th season at AU. Donohue is also a big sports fanatic, with basketball as his passion. He was also asked about how he feels about recent budget cuts and if it was to happen at AU.

“The one thing I would never touch would be scholarships. Scholarships are the most vital component to our team’s success,” says Donohue. He was secure in his answer and knew that the players were the top priority in the athletic program.

AU athletics has a firm grip on how they run their program. If budget cuts were to happen at AU the coaches and administrative staff would sacrifice themselves before the players. It is very heartwarming to know that the players come first no matter what.