Stafford Thrilled With UC Athletics Scholarship Enhancement Plan
UC women's soccer head coach Neil Stafford

March 20, 2013

UC Athletics Reinstates & Enhances Olympic Sport Scholarships
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CINCINNATI — The University of Cincinnati athletic department’s Tuesday announcement of its plan to reinstate and increase funding to its Olympic sports scholarship programs is an exciting development for new Bearcats women’s soccer head coach Neil Stafford.

While this is clearly big news for the UC athletic programs that had its scholarships phased out in 2009 (men’s cross country, men’s swimming and diving, men’s track and field); it’s benefits all of UC’s Olympic sports as the limitations of in-state scholarships vs. out-of-state scholarships have been lifted, allowing coaches to recruit the best student-athletes possible, regardless of their location.

“We are so thrilled that President Ono, (athletic director) Whit Babcock and the University of Cincinnati have brought forward these resources and this level of support to UC athletics,” said Stafford, whose roster features more than half of its players from Ohio. “The playing field gets a bit more even and the opportunity to produce outstanding student-athletes gets that much greater.”

Stafford, who took the reins of Bearcats women soccer in November, also believes the reinstated and increased scholarship funding will raise the profile of UC athletics departments as a whole.

“It’s so important that each sport is given a chance to excel here because it produces a domino effect for sports within the department,” he said. “Success breeds success and I love seeing other sports in the UC Athletics family win.”

The UC women’s soccer team is in the midst of its spring exhibition schedule. The Bearcats next match is on March 29 at Northern Kentucky University in Highland Heights, Ky.