President Supports Athletic Department During Pandemic

Acting Athletic Director Gary Tanner said Haskell Indian Nations University (HINU) won’t have student sports again until students are allowed to return to campus, but in the meantime the department is receiving a lot of support from university president Ronald Graham who is facilitating many of the department’s improvements.

Tanner said right now they are taking the time to evaluate the department’s programs — purchasing equipment and creating safety protocols for when students return. Coaches are currently working with student athletes over a virtual meeting platform to provide at-home workouts as part of their pandemic efforts. The department has also purchased a new softball score board to improve student game attendance, and they have added a vinyl wrap to a university bus and two trailers used for travel.

The university bus saw it’s maiden voyage during the Fastpitch Dreams Spring Classic where the softball team traveled to North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, a trip that normally would have required several vans. The bus received a vinyl wrap earlier this fall along with the department’s equipment trailer and a second tailer donated by Graham for recruitment.

Graham told faculty the wraps add professionalism to recruitment efforts and said,“We’ve spent much on stands, brochures, enrollment forms, and much more. We will load up a trailer and it will be used and shown off as the recruiting team parks in front of the high schools, airports, and events that will happen.

Tanner hopes to recruit a full Track and Field team as well as golf team. HINU has already signed Ruben Littlehead Jr. for Cross Country and Basketball and Amaya Harris for Volleyball and Track and Field. Throughout all these changes, Tanner says, “We appreciate [student athletes] a whole lot.”

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