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OSTROWSKY: Ten things to change about Deis athletics

By Dave Ostrowsky

Section: Arts

April 15, 2005

If I were the director of Brandeis athletics for a day, I would…

Brandeis IM Football needs pads like the NFL needs the New England Patriots. It is evident that the concept of intramural football is popular amongst the Brandeis male student body as over a hundred guys signed up for the league in the past few years. Why not make it more of an official league, especially with the lack of a varsity squad at Brandeis? In my book, the league took a step backwards this past fall. Please Tom Rand get rid of those multi-colored flags that look like they come from a fifth grade capture the flag playground activity.

Club sports such as Rugby and Lacrosse need to join the ranks of varsity sports. The men and women who compete on these teams work just as hard, if not harder than many of the varsity athletes at the Deis. They deserve to get recognition as official Division III athletes. Plus it wouldnt hurt to say that we boast a couple more varsity sports.

We need more fans at home baseball games. Plain and simple. Would Ollie the Owl draw more fans, perhaps? Jerry Cohen? On a 65 degree Saturday afternoon, even if you dont know baseball from criquet, watching this talented team play under the sun is not too hard to take. If you are a baseball fan, then shame on you. With how hard it is to get tickets at the Fens, theres nothing to lose by coming out to these games.

We need another multi-sport star to replace the soon to be departing Brian Lambert. His E.R.A. as a closer at the midpoint of the season is under a buck and he still provides a powerful right handed bat in the Judges lineup. As co-captain of the basketball team this past winter, he led the Judges in both points and rebounds.

We need the next Nelson Figueroa. Ok, ok. I know. Name three teams hes been on, and youprobably need to get out more. But seriously, the guy has bounced around the Major Leagues as both a starter and middle reliever and has been quite serviceable in his multiple roles. The Brandeis alum posted a 3.31 E.R.A. for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2003 season after the departed Jeff Suppan was traded to Boston. Figueroa is still a member of the Pirates organization. Last check, he was the only Brandeis grad to have played in one of the four major professional sports.

We need a way for the Brandeis womens team to make the Division III NCAA tournament. With an impressive 23-4 record in the 2004-05 campaign, it is about time Judges mascot Alan can sleep easy. They lost one game all season on their home floor and were dominant during the first half of the season, holding a third overall ranking at one point. While the small amount of school spirit was on the rise, it came crashing down when they were denied a ticket to the big dance.

We need more publicity for home games. True, many people dont come out to soccer and baseball games, but lets not put all the blame on the studious Brandeisians. Its not exactly like there are flyers galore around campus advertising these games. Im not asking for Lambert to run around doing headstands for attention, but a little more hype over these exciting contests could go a long way.

We need one sport that we are absolutely known for. It used to be baseball in the late 1990s/early 2000s. The womens basketball team came oh-so-close to establishing itself as the cream of the crop for Brandeis athletics this past winter. We just need a perennial powerhouse, so if nothing else residents of the Greater Boston area will say oh yea, Brandeis they always have great (fill in the blank) teams.

Lets have fan buses to away basketball games. Why not? Im not calling for an all-expense-paid trip to Atlanta (although that would be nice). Transportation to local rivals such as Tufts would be a nice support for Brandeis hoopsters. Not to mention it seems like the teams are gone for weeks at a time, which is far too much time off during the long days of January and February.

People should have come out to see the world champion New England Patriots defense just yards away from your dormitories. Sorry guys you missed your chance. The event happened two weeks ago.

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