21.11.05

MISPLACED PRIORITIES. The editorial board at the Northern Star, whose writings of late have been too silly to comment on, take a position on Wednesday afternoon football.

For one, the game will be broadcast across the nation on ESPN2, meaning tens of millions of people will have a chance to see Huskie Stadium and the NIU campus on live TV. People need to see a jam-packed stadium filled with loud, passionate fans.

What potential recruit would want to come to NIU if he turns on Wednesday’s game and sees people sitting on their hands in a half-filled stadium? Good recruits usually mean good football teams, and good football teams mean more exposure and more money for NIU. This in turn means a better school for you to attend.

There is so much to fisk here, especially that concluding sentence. But it is not to their silliness I wish to speak. Rather, it is to the silliness of the adults who supposedly run the place.

In an attempt to put more fans in the seats, [director of athletics Jim] Phillips and the athletics department sent an e-mail out to NIU faculty and staff November 4, offering two free tickets to every staff member at NIU. Those tickets are for seats in the student section on the east side of the stadium.

"It was our gesture of good will toward the staff as well as trying to get more people in the stands," said Eric Schultz, director of the ticket office in the Convocation Center. "If they’re staying on campus to work, we’re asking them if they would take a half-day off and come support the team."

A second e-mail went around this morning, repeating the invitation.To repeat:
Under some circumstances I might be willing to take the good director up on his offer, but that Wednesday has been committed for some off-campus research. If he wanted to comp me for a proper 1.30 pm Saturday game my attitude would be different.
And we are supposed to be grateful the scheduling isn't worse.

Before ESPN2 decided to broadcast NIU’s game, the two teams were scheduled to play at 7 p.m. Tuesday night.

Schultz said that NIU is in a better position than Akron and Kent State, who will play at 10:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving on ESPN2.

But those reschedulings have nothing, nothing at all, to do with money. Amateur sport and all that.

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