North Texas Daily

Club teams exist apart from the UNT athletic department

Club teams exist apart from the UNT athletic department

September 25
16:20 2013

Brett Medeiros / Senior Staff Writer

When people think of sports at UNT, it’s probably a football game under the lights of Apogee Stadium or a volleyball match inside the packed Mean Green Volleyball Complex that comes to mind.

But outside of the Mean Green athletic program, UNT has 27 club sports under the Recreational Sports Office for those who still want to play the sports they love or learn the sport they find interesting.

“Sadly, club sports really aren’t noted as much compared to the football team and bigger sports,” finance junior and Baseball Club President Johnny-Angel Hernandez said. “At the same time, the level of competition is fairly strong throughout all club sports.”

The Recreational Sports Office provides partial funding for travels, competition and equipment purchases.

The biggest difference between club teams and official athletic programs is that these players don’t receive scholarships to play. Instead, they are student-run organizations open to anyone currently enrolled in at least one credit hour at UNT.

For practice and game facilities, the club teams work with the Recreational Sports offices and, in some cases, the city of Denton to find places to practice, hold tryouts and play their games.

All of the 27 clubs receive a set budget determined by the factors of travel, need of equipment and length of schedule. In some cases, teams have to play out of pocket for some necessities while saving the budgeted amount for other, bigger expenses.

The UNT Paintball team is one of the best in the country, and thanks to sponsorships through Paintball Players Supply and others, the team is able to travel across the country and compete nationally within the National Collegiate Paintball Association. Every year since 2006, UNT Paintball has taken part in the NCPA Class AA national tournaments and has never dropped below a top-five national ranking.

“The biggest thing we keep hearing is people not even knowing that there is a UNT paintball team, despite our success,” UNT Paintball Club President and aviation logistics sophomore Michael Calender said. “Since we’ve only been sponsored by UNT the last four years, we’re in the making of getting out name out there.”

The yearly budget for the paintball team is $2,000 for the fall and spring semesters.

A club team becoming a Division-I program at UNT or at any other college is not a common occurrence. The team would have to find a coach, create scholarships and build a new facility – the same components of introducing a brand new sport altogether.

With the move to Conference USA, sports that UNT does not have that are sponsored by the conference are limited to baseball, rowing and men’s tennis.

“We pretty much have all the sports that are sponsored already by our conference,” Athletic Director Rick Villarreal said. “That’s the thing, when you are in a conference and the conference doesn’t have a championship for a sport, that’s where clubs come into play.”

Villarreal said that when the baseball program is ready, UNT wants to compete nationally right away and the current baseball club team would not just be absorbed into the program. Like everyone else, the members of the club team at the time of the program’s inauguration will have the opportunity to try out for the team and play for the club team if they don’t make it.

Like every club, organization baseball and paintball are open for anyone to try out and practice with the team. A list of club sports and their contact information can be found at

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