By John McCarty, Staff Commentary
This is my first and last year as sports editor of The Beacon. While I thought I would enjoy a break from writing articles, being an editor is a whole different ballgame, and I don't use my sports metaphors lightly.
I've listened to countless athletes tell me about the amount of work they put in outside of games, and I feel The Beacon is the same way. This year, I've spent more time in St. Mary's than my first 3 years at UP combined. I've (jokingly) threatened the lives of sports reporters who turn in drafts late, verbally abused several Macs and meticulously scouted Facebook for photos of athletes.
All of it for the love of sports, or more importantly, the Sports Section. And when I say the Sports Section, I obviously mean the best section of The Beacon. My logic is this: If athletes receive preferential treatment from the University, they are better than the average student, and since the sports team covers all things sports-related, we, like the athletes, must be better than the rest of The Beacon.
While I'm only half joking, I'm sure you're tired of my nonsense, so I'll get right down to it. It is a Beacon Sports tradition for the editor to share their opinions and prognostications on a few issues of import. So here they are, dear reader.
On students pregaming:
At any other university this sort of behavior is just accepted as part of the world of college sports. At UP, Harold gets all up in a tizzy and before you know it the OLCC is involved. I am all for enforcing the rules, but throwing the book at someone just to prove a point usually just exacerbates the situation.
This is the one time I can get away with this so listen up. Certain Pilots are going to riot, that's just how it is. So really it's just a question of taking responsibility for yourself and your actions. If all else fails, a wise teacher once told me, "It's only illegal if you get caught."
On Athletic Department cannibalism:
I am talking about the elimination of the men's and women's golf teams and the addition of women's rowing. I must say that the Athletic Department certainly handled the situation poorly by waiting to inform the golf teams about the possibility of being cut until the decision had already been made. My sentiments go out to all the golfers whose athletic and academic plans were derailed or otherwise rerouted because of the decision.
That being said, the University did have certain NCAA obligations to fulfill and in this case they had to follow the exact letter rather than the spirit of the Title IX regulations.
Women's rowing has certainly raised eyebrows with their performance thus far, and it's about time the Pilots actually engaged in some nautical competition worthy of our mascot. Whether you like it or not, Head Coach Bill Zack and his women are here to stay, so why not get on board while the rowing's good?
On tough seasons, young teams and reason to have hope:
Overall, sports coverage this year has been unusually brutal. There just isn't really any easy way to write about teams having an off year, and this is certainly what we experienced almost entirely across the board. Everybody struggled and countless coaches and players from every sport went on record about young teams, growth and rebuilding.
A sizable crop of underclassmen athletes from every sport really came into their own, and their experience this year will certainly show in years to come. Combine that with some impressive recruits and the stage is being set for UP to become a bigger name in the WCC.
If you made it this far into my article, I salute your tenacity. But this is the part where I close with a few short, clichÃ© sentences.
Beacon sports FTW. Stay classy, UP. Sorry for partying, and go Pilots!