Bwog Says Goodbye To CU Football

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This past weekend, the Columbia football team lost 56-0 to Dartmouth. Per the real sports reporters at Spec, this is “the third time this season the Lions have surrendered 50-plus points.” To be fair, it’s not as bad as last year’s 69-0 loss to Hahvahd. Actually that doesn’t make us feel much better.

We’ve heard that at other schools rooting for football teams brings people together and builds a sort of community. Thus far, we haven’t seen Columbia football help to foster community. We don’t deny that they put in a lot of time to the sport, and it can’t be easy to be an Ivy League student and a varsity athlete, but we’re not the only ones getting bummed out by the last 6 months in Columbia football history. That can’t be good for student wellness.

So until they give us a reason to smile, Bwog is suspending our (already so comprehensive!) coverage of the Columbia football team, and instead paying greater attention to our other sports teams that are actually accomplishing amazing things.

It’s not just because they’ve lost every game this season–Mets fans surely understand standing by your man even in dire times. First, there was that thing that happened last May, and then that other thing, and then that lack of remorse following both those things. It was soul-crushingly disappointing to realize that some of our classmates can act, publicly, like that. A player on the team told Bwog that in punishment the team had to participate in an Under1Roof-type program late this summer. According to this player, however, most team members just laughed through it. This week, players on another sports team mentioned that the football team has a bad attitude–they don’t take the sport seriously, and that’s why they’re not winning.

But let’s get past this anecdotal stuff. It’s undeniable that Columbia Athletics spends a lot of money and a huge amount of that goes to the football team. This year, they got new uniforms–and a new promo video to go along with ’em. A few weeks ago, we found them filming another promo video. These videos cost money. And these videos are just a part of the promotional efforts Athletics has been putting into the team, from training OLs to not joke about the team to sending them to the Today Show and some weird trip around NYC to various tech companies, to efforts to make #turnitblue a thing. They’re really trying to make us and the world care about the football team, and this is just a small sampling of the money that goes into the team.

Why aren’t they doing the same for, say, any other sports team? Ok we get it–there’s the origin of the term “Ivy League” to pay attention to. But isn’t Columbia all about questioning history and challenging norms?

Since Athletics won’t, Bwog has decided to reallocate our resources. Rather than spend our time recounting how the football team does, we’re going to focus on other teams that deserve much more championing than Columbia Athletics is providing them. This fall, the men’s soccer team has been crushing it. Beverly Leon on the women’s soccer team is having an exemplary season. Last week, the women’s tennis team dominated the finals of the ITA Northeast Regional Championships, while Winston Lin on the men’s team became the new Northeast Regional ITA Singles Champion.

The rowers worked their asses off to compete admirably at the Princeton Chase this past weekend. The men’s golf team had a record-setting fall season and finished third at the Ivy League Match Play Championship. Anna Scipioni scored an OT goal in field hockey in a tough match against Colgate. Football couldn’t do it, but the volleyball team beat Dartmouth. Lilette Mocio on the golf team had her career-best round in September, while Rachel Shi and Michelle Piyapattra were also having incredible seasons.

And don’t even get us started on our history-making, number 8 in the nation men’s cross country team–or the women’s team, which won the Metropolitan Championships for the 16th straight year. 16th!

So goodbye, Columbia football, you’ve had your turn at the top of our attention.

Update, 10:50 pm An anonymous tipster wants you to know: “The NCAA DI Northeast Regionals Cross Country meet is at Van Cortlandt Park on November 15th with the men’s race going off at 11:45 am. Our men’s team is ranked 10th in the nation and looks to make Nationals for the third year in a row (and 3rd time in school history).”

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  1. hold the phone  

    we have a football team?

  2. Anonymous  

    That sound? A thousand angry comments whooshing through the internet to this Bwog post.

  3. bless u bwog  

    the tags...and this part:

    'We’ve heard that at other schools rooting for football teams brings people together and builds a sort of community. Thus far, we haven’t seen Columbia football help to foster community. We don’t deny that they put in a lot of time to the sport, and it can’t be easy to be an Ivy League student and a varsity athlete, but we’re not the only ones getting bummed out by the last 6 months in Columbia football history. That can’t be good for student wellness.'

    throw the buzzwords rite back

  4. Bump Set

    Shout out to CU Volleyball!!

  5. A non-athlete  

    This is so dumb. Why are you not covering Columbia football anymore just because they have lost games? It's not as though the majority of our teams fare better. Bwog - if people stopped talking about things that weren't doing well then they'd stop talking about you since you have such shitty reporting (and I'm sure you will organize your staff to downvote this but someone had to say it).

  6. CU Sports Fan  

    I am going to every football game until the end of this season, and yet, I can agree with the sentiment of this post. It can be hard to stomach. However, I do hope you continue to or begin covering some of Columbia's less controversial, better sports like baseball, swimming, soccer, and rugby. There are some real gems lost because of the culture surrounding football at this school.

  7. bwog sucks

    this is why football has a budget bigger than the rest. because their alumni donate more than the rest. and even tho athletics is a fraction of the student body, their donations are almost the same as all of columbia college.

  8. anon  

    Right on bwog. This is a form of protest i can get behind

  9. Football...

    Can we reallocate football players' financial aid to good students that actually need it?

    • Too far

      Financial aid is need-based. Let's keep it civil

      • Anonymous  

        Actually, I think this is the most important issue here. The need-based aid that CC/SEAS receives doesn't always get high marks (see:B&W reporting last year), but can you imagine a recruited football player passing on Columbia because of a financial aid disagreement?

        And of course we have undergraduates in GS who take out more in loans than almost any other students in the country.

        • Anonymous  

          Some need-based aid is more need based than others, is what I'm saying.

          I'm going to go ahead and make an allegation here that when I worked a football recruiting dinner at Faculty House, I saw Dianne Murphy literally direct football recruits to her assistant who was handing out wads of cash.

  10. yes  

    agreed with everything in this post. i have no problem supporting our football team (or any other columbia sports team) regardless of how well they do, but the extent to which the football team is treated in a way that is different from everyone else is not cool at all and seriously undermines whatever tiny flicker of community exists between athletes and non-athletes here at columbia. to be clear, i'm not blaming the football team as much as i'm blaming the school; there are some nice, hard-working, non-hate-crime-performing guys on the team and it really sucks for them to have to be lumped in with a handful of complete losers, idiots, and PR messes.
    WTFcolumbia: this.

    ps: way to go cross-country!! i ran in high school but was definitely not good enough to run in college so i have mad respect for people who can run fast, work hard academically, and not get themselves into a controversial mess time after time. definitely want to see more recognition for these and other accomplished and yet under-recognized athletes here at columbia.

  11. Anonymous  

    This should have happened after Chad Washington. Still, better late than never

  12. Fencing  

    Because Olympians? So I've heard...

  13. This  

    Is why I love you Bwog

  14. Leave Football Alone  

    Have you no shame. Do you know how hard it is to be a football player? Do you know how demoralizing it must be when even your own classmates lose faith in you? Just because a team doesn't win, that doesn't mean that they stop needing the support of their fellow classmates. They need it even more. Football players play hard on the field and in the classroom. They make Columbia the great school that it is. You need to consider this and consider taking your post down.

    • somebody clearly didn't read the article  

      bwog very much acknowledged how difficult it is to be an athlete at an ivy league school, and also stated that they weren't discontinuing football news because the team doesn't win. they said they're discontinuing football coverage because of the double standards given to the football team at this school.

      also, the football players "make Columbia the great school that it is"...? come on. i'm not arguing about whether football players contribute to the campus dynamic (some of them also contribute hate crimes and racist tweets, and they are able to get away with doing so even with the Columbia name on their backs) because all of us do that in some way or another, but what makes Columbia "the great school that it is" is the diversity of people here with a variety of skills and talents. you can't attribute that to any one group of people.

      tl;dr we'll put our faith back in the football team when they earn it

  15. CC'16  

    for a second i thought the title meant that the football team was being discontinued entirely. alas...

  16. Anonymous  

    I completely agree with Bwog's decision. To add to the above grievances, this event really upset me in particular:

    The CCE and Columbia Athletics granted footballers privilege to a specialized career-prep course by virtue of...being on the football team? They couldn't even make it athletics-wide? I mean, that would make more sense given that athletes don't necessarily have as much time as "regular" Columbia students to devote to finding a career - even if those "regular" Columbia students include internationally renowned cellists, Broadway actors, community activists, and award-winning physicists whose passions, in the eyes of this institution, must not be NEARLY as time-consuming or impactful.

    I have a hard time understanding why athletes are granted an array of special privileges - by virtue of being at Columbia, odds are you had to do extraordinary things outside of academics. For many students, this was more substantial extracurricular work than scoring a few touchdowns in high school.

    tl;dr: If we're going to pander to our athletes, at least pander to the ones who win, who don't beat up strangers based on their race/size, and who are intelligent enough to keep their racist opinions off social media websites.

  17. Technical Remark  

    The field hockey player's name is Anna Scipioni, as per her facebook.

  18. Anonymous

    when you criticize the school for putting money into football, consider that the school doesn't get to determine the system it exists in or what parts are most outward facing. our women's track team has been beast for a long time, but on a national level women's track is even less followed than women's basketball - which is hard to do.

    america says that football is the sport that's on tv, so it would be stupid for columbia not to get behind it. if this were canada, you'd be complaining about CU bankrolling the big-dick-swangin hockey team. to be fair here is just not pragmatic.

    • Anonymous  

      Exactly. CU doesn't have an official hockey team, even though 7 other Ivies do, because...well, there would be a host of problems. It's outrageously expensive, we'd be decades behind in teambuilding, and there's no campus support for it. Even though we had to buck the rest of the Ivy League to do it, no one seems to mind.

      So how is that different than the football team? This isn't a matter of perennial losing has been a destructive force in the Columbia community since before the Reed Harris scandal IN 1934. Better for Columbia spend a fraction of that football money on finding some way to get women's track on TV than actually getting the football program on TV.

      • Anonymous

        i really don't get where you got that from comment, other than i used the word "hockey." my point is campus support is not relevant. look at sports as the vehicle for PR. its not up to the school which medium for sending a message is most generally popular.

        let's say Org X puts ads in classic Greek lit and they perform really well with the people that see them, but that performance relates to like 5 people a day. you wouldn't advise Org X to build up the Greek lit advertising infrastructure. you'd say put some shit on TV, cause its a medium that already works.

        moving money to get runners on tv or fund your research on Thai political institutions would do jack for image and communications cause no one will see either. there is not much that can individually match the marketing power of a well funded (successful is better) football team. *see stanford. you don't have to look outside the bubble, but the trustees and admissions do.

  19. Anonymous

    There's also *a lot* of hype surrounding basketball. I'm curious to know exactly how CU privileges football over other sports. True, no other sport team gets promos, but I'd be interested in reading a more thoroughly researched breakdown of budget/resource allocations. If this already exists somewhere please point the way!

    • Anonymous

      The reason that football and basketball get promos, etc., is because they are the only sports for which tickets are sold, i.e. the only money making sport programs at Columbia. Marketing resources are allocated to these sports because the value added from ticket and merchandise sales can be reinvested into Athletics. And yes, that includes other sports programs.

  20. Spuyten Duyvil  

    But for real, men's lightweight rowing is the best looking group on campus. Hard to walk around campus with all that bronze hanging between their legs.

  21. Anonymous  

    even as a fan of athletics, i think thi decision was a good one. the problem isnt if they win or not, its the attitude they have within the columbia community. they walk around like they own the school and that they're better than everyone else.

    i know and have interacted with athletes on many other teams, who are all great examples of student athletes, and what columbia athletics should be. the guys on the basketball team have none of the attitude of the football team. and cross-country? they're killing it, and totally deserve our support!

  22. Anonymous  

    I don't get this resentment against the football players. what kind of benefits they get anyways for spending hours practicing and getting brain damage? seems mostly academically mediocre or hs jock-envying bunch hating. ironic these people look down on academically "underserving" admits but can't stomach when atheletes act like they own the school.

  23. Isn't it ironic...  

    ...that the football team is what technically makes us part of the Ivy League?

    • Anonymous  

      Yes it is. Because, as an intelegent person wrote above "They make Columbia the great school that it is." If there wasnt any football, this wouldn;t be a precious ivy league school and that is the only reason why these people are here.

  24. good decision  

    I'm totally on board with this. It's about their behavior and the way a good number of them treat their peers. My friend who was an RA in Carman last year was repeatedly targeted for months by several of the football players after she was forced to write up one of their parties, and I can't even bring myself to write the things they said to her. Nothing happened to them of course and they kept the whole thing hushed, so these men go on thinking they're invincible.

    I recognize that this isn't every player, but whatever the culture is within the team that perpetuates this sort of behavior is disgusting. You hit the nail on the head with this one, Bwog.

  25. Anonymous  

    Please stop all this griping over Chad Washington. His case was dismissed because it was legally determined that there was no victim. When all the facts came out, it was determined that there was no case against him. In reality, Chad is the victim here as his name and reputation are permanently smeared because of the incident. What really happened that night doesn't seem to matter to any of you as you WANT him to be guilty. Just as you want to point out every single negative thing you can think of about the football team. There are plenty of shitty, non-football players at this school. There are also some really great guys on the team. Most of them, really. You want to make it out that the football team consists of a bigoted culture full of douches with maybe a few exceptions to the rule, but take the time to think about how many players you have really taken the time to get to know, and then ask yourself if that is a large enough sample to be able to judge all 90 something players.

  26. Lion Fan

    Well, bwog, if you get rid of football - that will leave just GS and Barnard to make fun of right?

    What a bunch of sanctimonious verbiage we have here. What is everyone's problem with our football team?

    I have followed the team for 22 years- there are a lot of great people who have played for us through the years - and yes, some of them are not perfect - but they represent our school well. I just don't get it that certain people on Bwog make these outrageous statements about football players - honestly, can anyone else tell me about a student group that is the target of this kind of malicious commentry?

    I don't dispute that some members of the team have engaged in conduct that is not exemplary - but come on - these are students - who sometimes make mistakes.

    Athletics always seemed to be an afterthought on this site anyway, so if you kiss off football - so be it.

  27. Anonymous

    The chairman of the board of Trustees at columbia, a Fortune 500 CEO, and a very major financial contributor to a former captain of the football team. Digest that comment skunk heads.

  28. george  

    Great. Now we can suspend our coverage of Barnard? After all, they're not part of our school either.

  29. Myron Crapp

    So Bwog is done with covering CU Football. No great loss since Bwog is as stated before a blog and an opinion mouthpiece. A CU football payer makes an inappropriate remark and because he probably is insecure he roughs someone up. Roughing someone up should never be tolerated, but an off color remark(s) made by some cretin incurs the wrath of you sanctimonious Columbians.

    Like any of you has never said an off color remark about another race or class of people! I'm not going to point fingers about how intolerant certain groups here on campus are! Get real!

    Get behind the CU football team. Criticize them as all sports fans do, complain about the coaching, cover them or don't. But get out of your rooms and go to the games. You will regret it when you are out of here!

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