It’s mid-March, but instead of thinking baseball, the Castleton campus is buzzing about the football team. But this time, all the talk has shifted from excitement to feelings of resentment. In recent weeks, everyone has been talking about head football coach Rich Alerico’s resignation. Professors were talking about it in class, students were talking about it in Huden and even Facebook was swarming with statuses referring to the current situation.
It all started when it was discovered that Alerico had violated NCAA rules to help an athlete. Alerico reportedly had a part-time college employee sign student loans for one of the star football players who was struggling to pay for college.
The loans that were being signed for added up to roughly $22,000 over a two-year timeline.
Once President Dave Wolk caught wind of the violation, he felt he was obligated to report the incident to the NCAA. Had he not and had the NCAA found out about it, all Castleton athletics could have been jeopardized.
The incident has spoiled the excitement surrounding the now successful football team, which finished last season stronger than most could have expected.
Everyone has their own opinion and feelings about this issue, but there is one thing we can all agree on: What Coach Alerico did was wrong. There is nothing that makes this acceptable. It not only makes the football program look bad, but also our school, for not catching on to this sooner. Shame on us for letting something like this go on for so long without us having any knowledge of it.
As college students, we all struggle with financial aid and student loans. A lot of kids even have to drop out of school because they can’t afford it. So the fact that this football player was getting special treatment because he was a star athlete is just unfair to all those kids who have fought long and hard financially to earn their spot in the classroom.
But let’s get one thing straight, no one is here trying to destroy Coach Alerico as a person. In fact, most people who knew him thought of him as a great coach and role model, and many of his players admired him. No one is saying that he is a bad guy, but what he did in his position as head coach was wrong. End of story.
My heart goes out to the football team for all the adjustments they are going to have to make. They have not only lost a great coach, but a great player as well. I think I speak for everyone when I say that I hope the football team can overcome this hurdle and come back next season better than ever.