Athletics column was misguided


As a representative of her dearly beloved journalism department, Sarah Garrecht could at least whine well ( "Academics, not athletics" Nov. 30). As a UA student with no particular love of the athletic department, I fail to see how the football team is responsible for cuts in the university budget. If anything, the athletic department bolsters our university's economy and because of that no student in his/her right mind should bemoan our student-athletes or, for that matter, our mascot.

Athletics is not the focus of this university and I have a hard time seeing how one could believe that it is. What is more shocking is that someone could believe that our athletic department detracts from scholarship. In terms of funding, the athletic department does not receive or even need to receive money from the state. In terms of attention, it is merely a sideshow, even for most of the athletes themselves. All of the UA athletes I have met in my time here have been among the most dynamic people I have interacted with on this campus. Imagine taking the same course load as everyone else, being expected to maintain better than average grades, while devoting 20 hours per week to rugged athletic training, not counting the extra-training athletes do voluntarily on their own. Personally, I'm honored that these men and women are attracted to our campus because of our outstanding, self-supporting athletic programs. If the journalism department was as dedicated to excellence as our athletic teams, I'm certain that the department wouldn't be faced with its own demise.

In my four years here, I've been to three football games. The only time I ever won the basketball lottery, I sold the tickets and profited handsomely. Though I am a non-athlete and a non-spectator, I feel there is plenty of room for me to learn at this school. That no one sells sweatshirts with my face on them doesn't bother Sarah Garrecht. A school mascot is the embodiment of all the school's students and alumni. When we root for the Wildcats,we root for more than the guys on the field. No one watches college sports because they are better than the pros. People watch college sports to support their alma mater and all of those currently enrolled. Through rooting for them is certainly an extra-curricular activity, to begrudge them is infantile and I would be more impressed with Sarah Garrecht's intellectualism if she devoted herself to something slightly more grown up.

Karen Fischer

Creative Writing Junior

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