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Voice of the people

Jun. 22, 2013 @ 10:05 PM

Academics, not sports, put MU on the national map

Do the readers of this newspaper really take columnist Chuck Landon's arrogant, uninformed, misinformation about the role of athletes in the school's emergence as a university worth the name seriously? Has Landon (MU jocks' best friend) read "$7,000 in the Bank," by Dr. Robert Hayes? Or made any effort to document his assumptions of faculty selfishness in the many subsequent developments and their contributions in "putting MU on the map?"

It takes more than a tragic plane crash, a movie and few big-name pro athletes to have the impact that I contend is due to the efforts of a longstanding group of dedicated, underpaid, hard-working faculty.

I applaud the successes of so many serious STUDENT athletes who balanced academics and athletic responsibilities and majored in everything from pre-med, business, liberal arts, education, etc.

Landon ignores the sorry results of very expensive recruitment efforts that end up with a bunch of deadbeat "wannabes" that drop out, never graduate or end up in jail, that drain big bucks from needy students that can't afford basic financial resources. What are the jocks doing walking the streets at all hours of the night looking for trouble?

I hope the hordes of MU sports fans, alumni, etc., can begin to appreciate the faculty's sacrifices in making Marshall a university in every sense of the word.

These are tough times for all kinds of institutions of higher education. Instead of finger-pointing and name-calling, the emphasis should be on transparency and cooperation. Athletics is as essential to a rewarding college education as basic English, math, etc. But without a competent, dedicated faculty, the jock will have to find somewhere else to develop their skills.

And if Landon's "wallet bleeds," I'd bet there's a transfusion available from the MU Athletic Department's budget.

Margaret Bird




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