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Keep sports fun, respect others

On March 9, 2010

Sports are about good hearted competition.

We've all heard it isn't about winning, or even playing the game. But, even as some of us are non-athletes, we know it's not about fighting.

A lot of teams have a history of fighting. With competitions, emotions are usually heightened. Nothing beats the feeling of winning, while nothing can crush quite like a game lost sometimes.

When an athletic team faces an altercation on the field or elsewhere, many more than just the university see.

This presents a serious problem, because even more than student media, athletes are the ones who represent OU to those outside the university. When other schools see our athletes acting in this way, we look bad, to put it bluntly.

We should expect better behavior from our athletes as well as all the students at Ottawa University.

One, it cheapens the event. Fighting only detracts from the experience for all people involved; players, coaches, and fans. It replaces the real thrill of a sports competition, of working together with your team towards a common goal, with the cheap thrill of violence.
It's like the difference between driving your brand new car down the highway and slowing down to look at the aftermath of an accident.

Two, collegiate sports is competitive enough. Fighting only detracts energy that should be devoted to playing harder and winning games. If we have a problem with the other team, our guys should just be better than them.

We're a school that prides ourselves on our membership in the Champions of Character program. Throughout each game, we need to consider this.

We also need to consider why we're on the field to begin with. It's a privilege to be on that field. A privilege to represent each other and the entire university.

Sports, when it's done for the right reasons, can and should improve an athlete's ability to work together with others, work hard and overcome difficulties.

It should also teach people to treat the competition with respect, which is just as important in any field of business as it is on the field.

People say we're here to get an education. But really, what proof of truly learning is in that piece of paper we receive at the time of graduation?

We find the proof in the character we build. Not in the games we play, or the wins we earn or even the losses we fall to. It is much more through what you learn and how you conduct yourself.

Play both more effectively and more sportsmanlike than the other team, and even if they did something wrong we'll shame them into owning up to it and prove we're the better team on the field and in the way we treat others.

Now, we realize this is a double-edged sword. We feel mis represented as members of the student body, but we don't receive as much representation as athletes. There should be an understanding between all who represent the university, no matter how minimally.

We want to look good, and we want athletes to be proud of us. We've competed at one time or another in our lives as well, we understand and support all the athletics in their endeavor to grow.

However, attitudes should be kept in check at all times. Whether working behind a desk or performing on a field, we're all representatives of this school. Let's not jeopardize our positions or standings because we can't handle a friendly game.

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