While no degree has ever been issued from the Lawrence Athletic Department, several thousand student-athletes have passed through its halls. These same students have gone on bus trips over weekends, given up part-time jobs, and completed the arduous full seasons of athletics, all the while receiving no compensation or retribution from the university. Not that a single one of them complained or demanded to be paid. All the student-athlete has ever expected from the school is respect.
Respect can come in the form of a decent field to play on. Respect can appear as an adequate weight room to train in.
Respect like this comes in the form of replacing Lawrence’s obsolete training facilities. The only major change in the facilities has been the refinishing of the basketball and volleyball courts as they became a liability.
The sizes of Lawrence athletic teams have grown in recent years, but the weight room has not grown with them. The football team cannot lift together, let alone with anyone else who wishes to do so at the same time. Much time is wasted waiting to make use of the outdated machines.
Most teams have gone outside the barebones facilities Lawrence provides. The YMCA and the Acceleration program of the Fox Valley have been chosen to make up for Alexander’s deficiencies.
Respect doesn’t make it past the Fox River much these days anymore. Usually it finds itself crossing College Avenue toward the conservatory instead.
One weight room fit enough for all the teams to train in is not too much to ask. For all the hours and sacrifices the athletes make just to bring honor and respect back to the school, a little reciprocity would be in order, right?
Somehow, the weight room gets older, the baseball/softball/soccer field gets worse, and to date, there is no sports writing lounge on campus. These are a few small things the student-athlete asks for. In a word, respect.
In return they give four years of their young adult lives to see Lawrence atop not only academics but athletics as well.