Volume 90, Issue 85

Thursday, March 06, 1997



Corporate support answer to Western sporting woes

Re: Football at Western

To the Editor:

As a concerned and frustrated student here at Western, I believe there is a distinct minority which will soon turn into a much larger, vocal and more demanding majority once this issue is publicized around our school.

Why can't we have a premier varsity athletic program?

People tell me that we do. I say, bull shit. Compared to whom and what? We have a stadium out there that would make an American high school student wet his pants. We not only sport the greatest football tradition in the nation, but also, we have the finest program under coach Larry Haylor. Who's to blame, though, for turnouts of 3,000 and not 30,000? Anyone who is against corporate sponsorship and would rather see the burden placed on the student athlete's back.

Imagine the Mustangs playing for capacity crowds every Saturday home game. No matter which team wins the game, I can tell you who really wins in the end. First, a well-deserving but under-funded football program (go ask how much a Western football player forks out of his own pocket to play). Secondly, students in need of part-time employment opportunities. Thirdly, all the other varsity teams which are drastically under-funded. Fourthly, the Western community and London. I could go on and on about the benefits this would bring.

If such an event was advertised and marketed properly, without a doubt it would be the hottest ticket around (we're talking scalper material here).

All this sounds great, but who could fund and organize something like this? The varsity athletic directors already proved they are failures. Then who, you ask? Labatt's, that's who. It's a company which has the resources to finance a new stadium and the football team and to market and promote the game to fans and athletes. Obviously, in return, Western would give exclusive rights to Labatt's to sell its product. There you go. As I said before, everyone wins, the athletes, the fans, the school and Labatt's.

Although this is another issue, people are wondering about the future of the Canadian Football League. With investments in our own programs and athletes and focus on building our own leagues, perhaps we wouldn't be so frightened of American conquests. If we can't beat them, let's join them and incorporate their ways into our own after filtering out the negative aspects. Let us believe in and support our own Canadian and Western athletes because they all have God-given talents which should be exploited and admired by all of us. Perhaps then we will breed athletes from young to professional, where we could share pride in their accomplishments rather than fear of extinction. Because the way we are going, that is what our athletes will become – extinct.

John Dreliozis
Economics II

To Contact The Letters Department: gazoped@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997