A Time Without Women’s BasketballBy: Alex Guillory
In the early months of 1986, the Hardin-Simmons University Board of Trustees voted to drop women’s basketball. This decision was said to be for financial reasons, but head coach Kim Vinson had a different perspective. She was understanding of the discontinuation of the women’s basketball team because they did not have an official conference and their previous season’s record was 4-23.
The financial issues for keeping the women’s basketball team made sense at the time. The school would have had to finance 23 travel trips for the women’s team because the bigger Division I schools refused to travel to Hardin-Simmons. They also did not have an official women’s basketball conference, so they would have had to travel all over the country.
These and other reasons did not make it any easier for the women's basketball players when they found out that it was their final season. Freshman Kristen Fry said, “It is kind of hard to take because I don’t know where I am going to go to school. It is hard to wait and see where God wants me to go to school.” For a lot of the girls on the team, they went to Hardin-Simmons to play basketball on scholarship, and when their program was ended, they were left without their sport and without money to go to school. Many of them also did not have enough eligibility left to transfer to another school to continue their basketball careers.
The women’s basketball team’s last game was against Oral Roberts University. They ended up losing 89-60 in their last game as a program. Coach Vinson was able to stay at Hardin-Simmons as the coach of the women’s volleyball team.