As a graduate of the Sports Management program, I was shocked and saddened when informed of the impending closure of the Exercise & Sport Studies Dept. The skills I learned from ESS classes and the opportunities provided by the professors, notably Professor Al Ferrer, have proven to be the most professionally and personally valuable I received at UCSB. I am not alone.

The ESS Dept. has built a significant pipeline into the world of professional sports. Just like the accounting and high-tech firms that flock to UCSB each year, professional sports organizations look to the university for a pool of strong candidates. During my four undergraduate years, I interned with ESS alumni in management track positions at the majority of major California professional sports teams (Giants, Athletics, Warriors, Dodgers, Angels, Padres, and 49ers).

Not all students end up in sports related careers, but the lessons they receive from the ESS Dept. are applicable to a wide range of fields. For one of my first post-grad interviews, I was prepared to talk about the economics classes I had taken, the grades I received and the papers I had written. However, the firm was far more interested in the real-world experience I had obtained from the ESS Dept. than my B.A. in Business Economics.

What was the position for you might ask? Economist — and I got the job.

I strongly urge university leadership to reconsider its decision to cut the Exercise & Sport Studies Dept.