Wednesday, July 11, 2007

ANews Letter from Captain Kemp

From the Athens News:

Letter: Local businessman should learn more about sports cuts before sounding off

Monday, July 9th, 2007

I was the very fortunate recipient of a copy of a recent letter to the editor that was published in The Athens NEWS.

It was written by long-time Athens resident and businessman John Wharton, on the Ohio athletic department cuts that have affected so many current students, as well as alumni, of our great Ohio University.

As a former student-athlete, and now NCAA track and field coach, I was appalled at Mr. Wharton's stance. For him to refer to the cuts as "tough but fair" reveals his lack of knowledge on the issue.

He stated that Ohio must concentrate its efforts on bettering athletic experience for the student-athletes that were retained, and that the funding should go to training and academic facilities, among other places.

What Mr. Wharton failed to mention is that over one million dollars was put into renovating all of these facilities over two years ago. They were already benefiting the student-athletes that lost their so-called better "experiences."

He spouts off nonsense about Title IX and aspirations of competing at an elite level.

Ask the women's lacrosse team, which no longer exists, how they feel about the Title IX compliance.

Ask the head coach of track and field if he feels that the meager $15,000 that was saved by cutting the men's track team will be enough to put the rest of the programs at Ohio onto that "elite level" about which Mr. Wharton thinks he's talking.

After looking at the facts surrounding this incident, it is obvious to those of us involved with this business that the people holding the axe at Ohio do not understand the term "elite."

The cutting of these sports is an absolute sham that was not well thought out, and is barely a temporary solution for a permanent problem. President McDavis, Mr. Hocutt, and now Mr. Wharton should all be ashamed of themselves for supporting such poor athletic administrative actions.

Mr. Wharton should speak with some of those affected by these cuts, and gain some knowledge on the issue, before jumping to the aid of the Ohio administration.

Then maybe he can print a retraction of his letter with an apology to the real Ohio community that can see these cuts for what they really represent: a futile attempt at being "tough but fair."

Justin A. Kempe (former OU track and field athlete)

Duke University

Durham, N.C.

1 comment:

Save OU Sports said...

Over on our petition at, one of the signers asked how OU expected to create a "football dynasty" with Ohio's "better known sports school" right up the road.

We would be surprised if OU managed to develop much more interest in football given how saturated the Ohio sports market already is with one of the top football programs in the nation at OSU, Browns and Bengals, and several other universities with significant sports programs and loyal followers.

Heck! A lot of potential customers in the OU market are more interested in WVU football.

We think anyone in Athens and its surroundings who believes OU football can get to the point of Boise State, for example, hasn't studied the market or is just plain delusional.