ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?!
Well, no. not really, actually.
Call me a drama geek, hippie, bimbo, or whatever you like (although I really don’t think any of those names apply to me), but I kind of always liked the idea of Castleton not needing a football team to define itself.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I do believe that as many students’ needs and interests should be met to the best ability of the college, which is most likely why I was originally on board with the whole adding a football team thing. My reservation was that I simply feel that academics and campus dynamic should be the main factors in bolstering a school, not what the last football season did for the college’s visibility. Nonetheless, I had faith that Castleton’s “small college with a big heart” persona would keep the upcoming football team on the same tier as all other school sports, activities, and upcoming renovations.
Well, as they say, you can’t win ’em all.
I wouldn’t have wanted to be heading up the Castleton faculty meeting following the disclosure that the upcoming football coach, who until the renovations are complete doesn’t even have a job, is going to be the highest paid staff member in the CSC “family.” I’m pretty sure the only less subtle way of pitting sports verses education would be to hire a blimp to fly over campus and announce the grudge match. Or better yet, display it on one of those fancy, light-up, video scoreboards that I’m sure is going to adorn the new Spartan Stadium. After all, we’re sparing no expense here. We must have tons in the budget, right?
Speaking of budget, funds, and cutbacks, some additional wiggle room in spending capability has opened up — at the expense of the Communications department. We were promised a nerve center, so to speak, a newfound opportunity to converge and increase our efficiency as a department. WIUV, The Spartan, and the TV studio, all in an expanded and updated Campus Center instead of the Haskell Hall “dungeon,” the ex-custodial closet in Leavenworth, and the piece of painted plywood in the Fine Arts Center.
Suddenly, the renovations on the Communications department are being put on hold for “monetary reasons.” Spartan football hasn’t even started yet and it’s already taking priority over the traditions and academic necessities that have been at Castleton for decades?
Regardless of what most people think, I do have respect for sports and athletes. I may not be able to explain to you what NAC, PGA, RBI, and all those other fun acronyms mean in the grand scheme of things, but I do know that athletes work incredibly hard toward perfecting their craft, and that no matter what division or level, they are apart of a culture that our society would be incomplete without. Honestly, though, that’s not the point. We can get all inspirational and Remember the Titans-esque later.
Actually. I think I’ll go with that.
Even the completely sports-deficient such as myself have seen, and most likely enjoyed, Remember the Titans. Why? Because it looks at football and sports in general as something more than plays and stats. A true Cinderella story of triumph and seeing past adversity to play for the love of the game, and at the end of the day that’s what’s supposed to count.
At Castleton, we like to say everything comes down to the heart of the matter; it’s in our damn slogan, for crying out loud. And I guess to me, putting a sport, which will arguably be a bigger recruiting tool than anything else, over academics at all, particularly departments and programs that have long since paid their dues, seems more like a matter of the wallet than one of the heart.
I guess you really can’t win ’em all.