Sports lessons

This letter is in response to Eric Krol’s article “Sports crazy society causes budget bloat.”

My problem here is not with the point made about the budget, however, it is with Eric’s use of his space in The Northern Star to totally degrade collegiate athletics.

I know when I speak here I speak on behalf of most, if not all, of the athletes here at NIU (whether on a scholarship or not). Our sports are more than “just a game” and do mean a helluva lot to us.

I am a member of the NIU baseball team and I am outraged at your views towards collegiate athletics. I’ve been playing and competing for over 15 years in my sport.

My sport has helped me pay for school but even more importantly it has taught me valuable lessons about life. The discipline, teamwork and mutual bonds created during the practices and games have made me a better person.

I am also a stronger student because of the values I’ve been taught through my affiliation with and participation in collegiate athletics. This can be said for almost every athlete here at NIU or at any other campus across the nation.

We are dedicated in our minds and bodies to our sports and for you to say that our sport is “just a game” is a total cut-down.

I don’t think you’ve ever experienced the immense pleasure that we have derived from all the hard work and practice we put into our games. Don’t belittle us, because you have never been there yourself.

Also Eric, why is it so bad that society gets excited about their sporting teams? Sports are a reliever from the stresses of daily life.

I don’t think society’s priorities are “out of whack.” I think yours are. You are definitely within a minority group if you don’t enjoy being a spectator or a participant in sports. Maybe you should get out from behind your desk every once in a while and experience what you’re condemning.

As for your student-athlete oxymoron, I think you should do some more research into that comment. Every athlete here must meet their academic obligations before they set foot on to their respective playing fields. This is the reason they are students first and athletes second.

It would be interesting to see how you would react if your column was labeled as worthless.

All of the NIU athletes would like to thank you for your superb writing Eric (whoa! do I smell an oxymoron?).

Dan Colucci