breaking news

Wright State University: Game of basketball unites a campus

Published: Tuesday, March 12, 2019 @ 10:50 PM

Bill Wampler scored 16 points to lead Wright State in Tuesday's 77-66 loss to Northern Kentucky in the championship game of the Horizon League tournament at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. Brian Sevald/CONTRIBUTED
Brian Sevald
Bill Wampler scored 16 points to lead Wright State in Tuesday's 77-66 loss to Northern Kentucky in the championship game of the Horizon League tournament at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. Brian Sevald/CONTRIBUTED(Brian Sevald)

Wright State University has weathered much criticism over the last several years.

But the men’s and women’s basketball teams put a positive spin on the university. Both were No. 1 seeds and played Tuesday in the Horizon League tournament championship.

>> Archdeacon: Powered by trio of seniors, Wright State women are a ‘championship team’

Content Continues Below

Raider students, professors and alumni will tell you it’s been tough -- everything from this year’s 20-day faculty union strike, to cutting tens of millions of dollars from the school’s budget to eliminating hundreds of jobs.

But then the game of basketball found a way to unite a campus and bolster Raider pride.

“It was the first time ever that both the men and women’s teams were the No. 1 seed,” said Adam Hannen, a WSU grad student.

>> WSU women pass toughness test in Horizon League tourney title game triumph

He said it’s a positive for the university, especially after a faculty strike in January and part of February.

“I think everything has kind of gone back to normal,” he said.

But now, a no confidence vote faces Wright State University’s board of trustees. The faculty senate listed eight reasons it has lost confidence, including ongoing financial problems, a federal Visa investigation and the recent strike.

“There’s a relief that that is all over and while it’s not the same because you had a strike in your past, I think a little bit more time will fix that,” said Wright State adjunct professor Paul Hannen.

>> Horizon League tournament: Northern Kentucky too hot for Wright State in final

Financial problems have tarnished the school for years. In 2017, trustees approved cutting almost $31 million from the budget. Then last summer, trustees approved $10 million more in cuts.

Paul Hannen said it will take time to rebuild the university’s image. But short-term, he said basketball gives the campus community something to rally behind.

“Well, certainly anything that’s a positive aspect helps,” he said.

Got a news tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com