College World

VOL. 85 No. 2
October 10, 1968

Why do freshmen football players come to Adrian “fired up” to play, and after only a year or two on the team, give it up as a lost cause?

It is amazing that these same ball players who were stars in their respective high schools and who love football quit after· only one or two years at Adrian. In fact, many of them even came to college for the sole purpose of playing college ball. Some even turned down bigger schools to play at Adrian. One can not help but feel that it would have helped Adrian football if these people would have continued to play.

How could these individuals lose their taste for the game almost overnight? The answer to this is not an easy one. In fact, the players themselves do not completely realize what made them decide to quit football. However, all the people, who were interviewed, had almost the same comments to make.

Skip Miller from Milford High School, who as a senior, was named first team All-State, All County, All Suburban Detroit, and was voted the Most Valuable Player in his league as a quarterback and halfback, only played two years at Adrian before he became discouraged. Miller had this to say, “There was no reason to play football anymore. I got nothing out of it. Five days a week you would take a physical beating to prepare for Saturday. Saturday would come and we would take a licking. It would be different if we won or we gained respect or got something from playing. It is an intangible thing what people play sports for, but it is lacking here at Adrian. It is very disillusioning to say the least. Maybe if scholarships were given we would have better ball teams. At least we might be able to stay in the game with the other teams instead of getting slaughtered. It is no fun to get behind and not be able to score. It is not the game of football if you are never in the contest. I wanted to go to college just to play football, but I didn’t want to go to a big school so I came to Adrian. I broke my Dad’s heart When I did not sign my grant-in-aid to the University of Michigan. I don’t even like to think about football anymore; it makes me sick.”

Senior, Dale Goodrich, who played defensive halfback for Adrian for three years, gave up football just this year. Dale also was a star quarterback in high school. His senior year, he was captain of the team at Imlay City, and was named All-State Honorable Mention for class B high schools. Dale had this to say.”

No one looks up to football players around here. It doesn’t mean anything. You work hard all week in practice, but for what? Some team walks all over you on Saturday.

The college is lacking. You can see freshmen come here, and have all kinds of enthusiasm, but a year later they have lost it. It is the atmosphere of the place.

There are other things in the spotlight instead of sports. For example, fraternities play a more dominating role on this campus than do athletics.

This does not mean fraternities are bad, but there is room on this campus for both strong athletics and fraternities.

Dale had this to say when he was asked about athletic scholarships.

“I don’t think it would greatly lower the standards of the school. Years ago there were big dumb athletes, but today there are enough smart athletes to make it possible to give scholarships to those who deserve them.”

Rick Snyder, who graduated from Cassopolis High School, and was also All-State Honorable Mention quarterback for class B high schools only played one season for Adrian. He looked at the scholarship situation this way.

“I believe a person’s total worth should be taken into the picture when he is considered for a scholarship. Many fellows lose their scholarship who would not lose them otherwise simply because they are playing football. If they had the time to study instead of playing football maybe they could have made their “B” average.”

After talking to many other individuals, who have given up football at Adrian, these seem to be their common complaints:

There is no honor in being an athlete at Adrian. Instead of praise, he only receives criticism. Sometimes the argument is raised that the fun of playing football itself should be reward enough. Anyone who believes this obviously has had little contact with the game. Love of the game provides some motivation for playing the game, but it is the recognition received that makes the athlete “fight a little harder.” Phil Emerson, who played football at Adrian for two years, explained the situation this way:

“A couple of cheers makes you feel a lot less tired in the fourth quarter.”

How many cheers did we give our football team when only 25 students showed up for a pep rally? There should have been at least 500 there. Can you blame the players for becoming discouraged. If no one else cares, why should they?

There are not the usual rewards for athletes on this campus. Other activities have become more important. This does not mean that these other activities, such as, fraternities should be limited. But it does mean that our athletic program should be reinforced. If the biology department was weak, everything in the school’s power would be done to strengthen it, but an all out program is not being pushed for the athletic department.

It would greatly improve our athletic situation if we could grant scholarships to students who show sufficient need. Albion is a prime example of this. They only require a student to maintain a “C” average to keep his scholarship. It is all done on the basis of monetary need. Therefore, a football player, who can not afford to put himself through school will likely go to a school like Albion before he will go to Adrian.

A coach here at Adrian can not honestly say to a player, who has a “B” average in high school that it will be no problem for him to keep it in college. This is not true, and everyone knows it.

In fact, football players have a greater chance of falling below the “B” average than do other students simply because of the time he spends on the field.

The lack of scholarship money is not the fault of the administration. Adrian simply does not have the money to put into scholarships like other schools do. But nevertheless, it puts a football coach at Adrian at a great disadvantage when he is recruiting high school ball players.

Yet, if the team does not win, the armchair quarterbacks blame it on the coach. It makes no difference that the other teams outweigh Adrian by 20 pounds per man.

Maybe we as students should try and back our football team a little more. If you bothered to go to one of the games, you could not help but notice that our team fought as hard as they could. In spite of superior ability, they never gave up. It is also hoped that an appeal can be made to the administration to find out what can be done about the scholarship situation.