Interhall basketball needs attention
For a school that prides itself on hosting the world's largest outdoor five-on-five basketball tournament, boasts the 2001 NCAA women's national basketball champions and has taken great strides to rally increasing support for the improving men's teams, RecSports has done embarrassingly little for those basketball players who toil for their teams on the interhall level. While interhall football players enjoy legitimate referees, well-kept playing fields, adequate padding, Observer coverage and structured leagues, we basketball players receive far less for just as much efffort. And it's time someone spoke out.
First, we play our games in the shoebox gymnasiums located behind the bleachers in the Joyce Center. The courts are roughly half the size of a regulation courts, the rims are old and rusty (dunking is illegal because the 1950s backboard structure would surely bend under the slightest pressure), and what's more, the floors aren't even wood — they're made of a slippery rubber surface that's worn away under the baskets. In addition, any player who chases a loose ball out of bounds must immediately contend with the gym's concrete walls that are no more than two feet from the in-bounds line. Why not play in the Pit, Rolf's, Stepan Center, the Rock or on the main Joyce floor itself?
Second, students are used to officiate the games. And, while I feel for these poor souls because they get paid peanuts and spend most of the game arguing with the players, their limited experience leads to many a blown call. The games of our football counterparts, on the other hand, are called by real, knowledgeable referees from the community, who have uniforms and everything.
And if that wasn't enough, the league is so disorganized that one wonders if someone at RecSports simply threw darts to decide which team plays in what league. Instead of having each dorm form one "A" team and one "B" team, and pitting these squads of like-abilities against one another, teams of varied skill levels are grouped together, resulting in week after week of either cake-walk victories or hopeless defeats. And that's no fun for anyone.
Finally, how about some scores in the paper? I'm not asking for detailed coverage that interhall football merits (did you read that girl's dorm "A" beat girls dorm "B" 2-0 on Tuesday?). It's just that if, for example, someone would like to know about Keenan's last-second, triple-over time win over Keough in last year's thrilling interhall final, they could have gotten a score if they'd wanted it.
I know Notre Dame is a football school, and football will always take precedence around here. I wouldn't have it any other way. But why not improve basketball when it's so easy to make a few positive changes?
Jan. 29, 2002
All Viewpoint Stories for Thursday, January 31, 2002