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What about our other teams?

Letter to the Editor | Thursday, December 4, 2008

So everyone seems to think our athletic program and department has gone down the drain; the pundits, the “professionals” many students and professors, the analysts, and the writers all think Notre Dame’s athletic success has dropped significantly. And why? Because our football team has slipped into a subpar status over the last two years.

Don’t get me wrong. Football is my favorite sport to watch, analyze, and talk about (playing, well that’s a different story), but what happened to every other sport at Notre Dame? We have the No. 1 Women’s Soccer team in the nation, undefeated and in the Final Four, but you wouldn’t really know it. How many headlines do these ladies get? Or how about our cross country and track/field teams, who consistently post great scores and good finishes? How could we forget about our hockey team, currently No. 1 in the country and playing well also? When have we heard about our fencing teams constantly winning duals and being just shy of a national championship for the past few years after winning one in 2003? Stretching even further, what news have you seen about our tennis players doing well in competition and knocking off some tough players?

The list goes on further and further: baseball, golf, lacrosse, rowing, softball, swimming and diving, volleyball. Until recently, even basketball was a “background” sport here too. Where are the “student sections” at these sporting events?

It’s easy to read the results in The Observer the next day, but it’s just as easy to go and support the teams. Most other events on campus are free and are a good time. It was nice to see a student section at the women’s soccer games during the Big East Championship but it was still small. We all know the importance of home field advantage in football; that remains the same for other sports as well.

I know being in college, especially at Notre Dame, doesn’t allow you to do everything you want and certainly doesn’t allow you to attend every sporting event on campus. Still, what’s wrong with taking a break from partying every now and then to go watch the soccer teams play or the baseball team play on a Friday? I’m sure you could still even make that amazing dorm party you’ve been looking forward to all week after the game.

Is football important? Of course it is. There is no denying that it is the sport that, nine times out of 10, makes a school the most money and gives the school’s name the most attention. It is definitely important to focus on football. But it doesn’t make or break our athletic program. I myself have many thoughts and concerns about Notre Dame football, most of which I have decided to refrain from speaking of until the very end of the season (as I think Notre Dame should have done); maybe this will come in another letter to the editor.

Regardless, every one of the sports I mentioned earlier has lots to do with the success of an athletic program. Just because our football team is not in the Top 25 doesn’t mean our athletic program overall is not. Furthermore, the non-football athletes work just as hard to bring success to the results as the football players. They practice, they work out, they keep in shape, and yes, they are college students too.

Though not a student athlete myself, I’m sure they wouldn’t mind some support and even more, a little attention.

Kevin Kimberly


O’Neill Hall

Dec. 4