UTD Esports to split from Athletics

Graphic By Oluwaseun Adeyemi | Mercury Staff

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The Department of Student Affairs and Student Union Administration have recently made the decision to
separate the UTD esports program from the athletics department, allowing it to have its own higher
management instead of falling under the SU.

While discussed by both Student Affairs and the SU Administration, the final decision was made by Gene
Fitch, the vice president of Student Affairs. According to Dan Goodwin, director of Student Union and
Student Life Programs, an upcoming 15,000 sq. ft. esports and gaming center was the catalyst for the
separation.

“It made a lot of sense just in an ease of operation to have the gaming and esports center management,
which falls to the Student Union … also have responsibility over the competitive side of the esports
program, which … resided with athletics,” Goodwin said. “And what that really does, it just allows a lot of
symmetry … it just makes a lot of sense to put all of it under one umbrella.”

The upcoming gaming center, which is expected to be constructed by August 2024, will replace The Pub
in the SU. While the state-of-the-art facility will provide opportunities for competitive esports teams, it is
also intended to be used by UTD students who game casually.

“We want to bring esports for all Comets,” Goodwin said. “No matter what the skill level is of our
students here at UTD, they’re going to have a place in this new facility that we’re building.”
Goodwin anticipates the department changes to begin sometime in the summer. Going forward, changes
will be made to the official esports website, communication strategies, policy and procedures. The new
management changes will not greatly affect the competitive esports program.

“I would say even from when we [reach] August of 2024, not only will we see a significant difference in
the overall size and scope of the esports program just by virtue of a new facility, I think that’s going to
accelerate the greatness of an already great competitive team as well.” Goodwin said. “It’s an ascending
program and we have all of the resources, qualities, support in place not only now, but in the future, for
that to remain a top program in the country.”


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