Does LU support athletics?

Anthony J. Totoraitis

Whiting Field, where the Lawrence baseball team plays its home games, is in need of serious repair.

There will likely never be a national televised Lawrence sporting event. No big contract for the school with a prominent sporting apparel company. Lawrence University is not likely to make a large sum of money directly from its sports teams. Sports at Lawrence are not a source of monetary gain, so in a time of financial crisis support goes to that which is most important to the school. It does not appear as if athletics are in the front seat of any financial plans Lawrence has.

But yet at the same time, President Warch and others maintain that they are adamant supporters of LU Athletics.

How can one claim to be a supporter of athletics when nearly all the sports teams go without necessary training equipment, quality facilities and general interest from the administration and the student body?

The baseball team has a field fit for a third grade recess game. Possibly that is because the soccer team’s practice field and the baseball diamond overlap. That’s right, one team’s practice field is another’s game field.

It’s a wonder that Lawrence’s coaches are able to recruit players here at all, with the staggering cost of admission and the lack of a weight room.

As a member of the Viking Football team, I have seen a record of 2-18 over my two years here.

For two years I have been expected to compete with St. Norbert and Ripon while lifting weights in a room that time forgot. The weights are the same ones that were there when the forward pass was invented. In sports there is a saying, “You play like you practice.” No wonder we can’t win a game with the facilities we have.

Coaches have lobbied for a new weight room for many years. Just like head baseball coach Korey Krueger pleads for an acceptable place to play a clean, crisp game of America’s passtime every year.

Where is the support then? Where is President Warch when finances are concerned? Busy with other issues the school is more concerned with.

I agree that the focus of this university is to educate; that is the way it should be. Now I have made out the administration to be the bad guys here, but that is not entirely true.

The soccer team’s game field was redone just a short while ago. The football team has one of the nicest Division III game fields of any in the nation. There is not a better place to see a quality game of men playing for the love of the game. Alexander Gym recently had its floor redone, which was needed for some time.

In order to be successful, teams have gone to outside resources to train. Many sports teams have been training at Acceleration of the Fox Valley.

This type of training is highly respected by all that go through the process. The football team is now trying to begin training there. However, it appears as if we will need to foot the bill of $50. As I am a student first, Conkey’s already has all of my money. Since I am playing for Lawrence, why can’t they pay the bill? After all, we are trying to build up the program for Lawrence down the road.

There is so much to be gained from collegiate athletics. One can become especially proud of one’s school after the team knocks off a close rival.

For myself and about 20 other students that visited the recent Viking road game to Ripon to witness the destruction of the Red Hawks, it was a glorious occasion. Too bad for any Ripon alums who sat cheering for their alma mater only to see them lose. Sorry about that, Dean Trusdell.

Support must come from the student body before the administration will change its ways. Go to a game and cheer for Lawrence. Not familiar with how the cheering process works? Just look for me. I will be at most every game and I will be as loud as humanly possible.

I will establish a student section at Lawrence before my four years are up here. Teams always play better with support from the fans.

Give your friends, classmates, and fellow Lawrentians every opportunity to put up a win.

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