Letter to the Editor
I wanted to send you an email regarding your latest editorial. Before I start, I would like to say that I am not here to attack you or your opinion. You have a right to express your opinion and I respectfully disagree.
Your portrait of the team is very dark and unwarranted. Your sources or lack thereof do not reflect what this team or any other sports team on campus is about. To me, your article only showed one side of the argument. A good argument always weighs both sides. You could say that the former players are a credible source but I would beg to differ. These guys probably left on a low note and have a lot of animosity towards the team. Many guys left the team but do not have such negativity against the program.
My next issue is singling out the football team. Have there been issues with the football team? Yes, we are not perfect. But there are problems with other sports on this campus and other people outside of the sports realm on this campus. To target just the football team seems easy because we create a huge percentage of the population. Your article lacks the substantial ground to back up many of your criticisms for the football program.
I know that only 15 seniors are left out of 60 kids but that is not abnormal in Division III football. Our coaches and other Division III coaches bring in so many kids with the expectation of losing the majority of the recruiting class. That is the nature of Division III football.
Kids leave football for various reasons and most of these situations have nothing to do with academics. I would guarantee you that if you looked at team GPAs that football would not be last. It just seems that we deal with the most academic issues because we have more kids but the percentage of students in academic trouble is probably the same or lower than other sports.
Zach, I was a football player in your pod freshman year. I never caused you problems and I would like to think I was respectful to you. Now for the two guys with knives; these guys were far removed from the football program, also I do not remember you ever being in danger of any such abuse. To say they were rowdy is also placing too much blame on football. There were many rowdy kids in our pod, including other sports teams. I would say that was just freshmen being freshmen.
On the claim of the leadership grant, that is a strong claim and to be honest I do not if it is true or not. If it is true that such scholarships were being handed out for athletic reasons, football is probably not the only sport benefiting. My personal finances at this school do not get such a benefit, but I don’t know our administrative policies on the leadership grant.
Now I would just like to say a few things that are nice about a football program on campus. In my four years here my fondest memories are mainly football related. Sports feature a certain camaraderie that is rarely matched and creates a bond that will last a lifetime. But football provides more than just an internal bond. If you went to the homecoming game against W&J last year, you would have seen a spectacular sight for this college. Stadium seating was packed and the hill was flocking with students and alumni. It was probably the best turn out for a homecoming in the history of the campus and that benefits the team and the college.
My teammates and I raise money for Big Brothers and Big Sisters. Last year we raised over $1,000 to help a local youth organization. We have kids in SGA like Sean Sieg and prefects like Dillon Main. Three teammates and I went to Georgia for Habitat for Humanity last year to help an older lady finally get a stable house. If you ever go up to the football department you will see 20 or so kids who maintain a 3.0 or better on the Bearcat Honor Roll. I firmly believe that the benefits of this program outweigh any negative effects on this campus, and many monks, faculty, administration, and alumni would agree. I have had the chance to speak with different alumni who are ecstatic about having a football program to follow and support.
I would like to reiterate that this email was not intended to attack you as a person or your opinion at this school. I believe that such a controversial article like this needed a reasonable response. I hope that I shed a new light on the topic besides a gleam image that was illustrated in the article.