EWU should spend more on sports for the culture

The best sports moments are well worth the money

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EWU should spend more on sports for the culture

By Taylor Newquist, Sports Editor

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Taylor Newquist is the Sports Editor for The Easterner. The hyperbolic opinion expressed in this article is his own and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Easterner’s editorial board.

 

The battle over collegiate athletics spending is nothing new to our American discourse, and it certainly isn’t exclusive to the EWU campus. Everyone knows there are tenured professors that curse under their breath as the football coach receives a contract extension, the same as sports fans and members of the athletic department will pester universities for new facilities and more resources.

There is no simple answer to the question: is sports spending smart for a university? Nevertheless, I’ll find a hill to die on.

There is never enough money for everything (unless you’re the University of Alabama football team installing waterfalls in the locker room). Few sports programs in the country actually make money, but what they do for university culture is unrivaled, and that’s why they are important.

Let me derive my personal bias from my favorite EWU sports experience. It was 2016, a beautiful day in Pullman, especially considering a football game was about to be played. I joined a Washington State-orinated tailgate with a friend of mine who attended the school, and received an onslaught of trash talk while sporting my EWU sweatshirt.

Through each jeer I offered one important reminder: we had something special—we had Cooper Kupp.

I embodied the trojan horse, sitting in the heart of the Cougars’ student section. In the first half WSU scored four touchdowns. EWU responded with three of its own and a 48-yard field goal to close the second quarter. “Looks like its going to be closer than you thought,” I told the hecklers behind me. Of course they couldn’t acknowledge that. The Cougars couldn’t open the season losing to an FCS program for two straight years right? Wrong.

EWU scored 14 unanswered points in the second half and went on to win 45-42. Kupp had 206 receiving yards with three touchdowns and quarterback Gage Gubrud beat an FBS school (that he now plays for) in his first game as an Eagle.

EWU Athletics
Ex-eagle Cooper Kupp celebrates a score at Martin Stadium during EWU’s 45-42 win over WSU in 2016.

All was good. Sco’ Eags filled the Pullman streets, and tear-soaked beers were downed in every frat house.

Every time I think about college without athletics, I am reminded of all the moments and memories like that day in Pullman that would be missed out on.

To me it’s clear, books and learning are great, but sports are better. There’s one reason above all else that makes the case for why college athletics should recieve funding—it’s for the culture.

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