How Tarleton students felt about how sports were handled during the pandemic

By: Cody Vannoy


The 2020-2021 academic school year brought a lot of changes to Tarleton State University’s sports programs. Not only did the university have to deal with a worldwide pandemic, but it also had to deal with its athletic program moving to the NCAA Division I (DI) level. Since the spring semester is coming to a close, Texan News Service (TNS) sent out a Tarleton sports satisfaction survey to find out what students and Tarleton faculty thought about the changes.

Wisdom Gym, home of the Tarleton Texans.
Photo by Avery Jackins.

The survey was sent to two different parties. The first group surveyed was Tarleton faculty and staff members. The second group the survey was sent to was students in order to get data from both their viewpoint as well as faculty.

While TNS was unable to receive a response from every individual that received an email, a decent number of responses was received. The survey was designed so that the individuals who were filling out the survey were not required to answer all the questions, therefore, some questions have more responses than others.

Out of 290 responses from the student survey, 67.6% of students attended at least one Tarleton athletic event in-person throughout the 2020-2021 academic season. In the faculty and staff survey, that number drops to 55.6% out of the 171 responses. If a student attended a game this year, it was most likely football. Out of 193 responses, 165 of them went to at least one football game. Men’s basketball came in second with 71 out of the 165 responders attending a game and then the baseball team came in third with 64 people attending their games. The faculty and staff numbers are remarkably similar to the students’ numbers in this category.

When asked the question, “On a scale of 1-10, how do you think Tarleton Sports performed their first year in NCAA DI?”

Both surveys had their leading result as an eight satisfactory with 24% giving Tarleton an eight or higher.

While most of these numbers have been similar, this is where the stats start to differentiate. Out of Tarleton students, 43.3% of them thought the football team exceeded expectations. Another 22.6% thought the volleyball team exceeded their expectations as well; however, in the faculty and staff survey, only 37.5% thought the football exceeded expectations, but 28.8% said the volleyball went above and beyond their expectations. Then, 39.7% said that the men’s basketball team did not reach their expectations this year in faculty and staff survey, while 47.7% of students thought the football team did not achieve everything they thought the football team was capable of.

The last question of the survey was a comment section, which are anonymous.

One staff member said, “I have no interest in Tarleton Sports, and just hope that the move to DI doesn’t mean sports overshadows Tarleton’s academics.”

Another staff member commented, “Make it affordable for faculty and staff to attend. Offer incentives.”

“Honestly, I didn’t know Tarleton sports were as good as they are,” a student said. “I just didn’t know that much before coming here, and I’m pleasantly surprised.”

“I think for being their first year as a collection of D I programs, Tarleton sports did really well,” a student commented.

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