A college in a state with three or four major institutions that are nationally competitive in the two major sports has overly steep competition; and North Central State College pretty much wrote off the likelihood of their fielding nationally prominent teams in football or basketball. No, that was as unlikely as a tsunami in Kansas. So the Athletic Committee was charged by the President to suggest certain sports in which NCSC could achieve national promise.
The committee, composed of faculty members and administrators of impeccable credentials, proposed certain criteria that should be met: (1) It must be capable of attracting a large audience; (2) It must be relatively inexpensive to fund; (3) It should be attractive to being televised; (4) Ideally, it should be unisex, thus easily meeting Title IX criteria.
Accordingly, at the start, several possible sports were nominated. They were: (1) NASCAR racing; (2) beach volleyball; (3) foosball; (4) cow-tipping; (5) competitive cheerleading. The committee considered the pros and cons of each of those.
Well, foosball and cow-tipping were quickly eliminated. Foosball because it had the stigma of being played mainly by drunken fraternity boys, and cow-tipping because it would draw the relentless opposition of PETA and irate farmers. Besides, foosball was not proven to be a crowd drawer or have television possibilities.
NASCAR had the virtues of there being a regional appetite and audience for this activity, it had a built-in audience, and the institution's logo and colors could be tastefully placed on both the car and driver. However, Professor Snoodley raised the question as to whether NASCAR was a real sport: it seemed to involve basically the capacity to perform two activities: accelerate and turn left a lot. Anyway, this activity is done by professional drivers; and the NCAA wouldn't permit pros instead of "student-athletes." Still, a noisy sport and the fierce competition and the possibility of messy crashes did appeal to the primitive in sports fans.
So that left beach volleyball and competitive cheerleading. Both of those had possibilities: they drew sizable audiences in places where it was available. For instance, a beach or stadium with a sandy playing field in the case of beach volleyball or some kind of setting for competitive cheerleading. Not a problem: sand is easily purchased at Home Depot.
Beach volleyball was unquestionably a sport. Some prudes might object to the skimpy swimsuit costumes; but it is one in which the players are fit and trim, competition can be intense, and there is intense physical activity and skill involved. Undeniably, large numbers of people would pay to watch beach volleyball if they could. The players could be student-athletes, there is need of only one coach, a trainer, and some guy to keep the cats off the playing field. Consider this: would people rather pay to see some drunken louts play foosball or tip cows; or trim athletes play volleyball?
Competitive cheerleading is already common on the high school level nationally and on the college level in the case of the west coast. Professor Dilweed observed that some people question whether it is a real sport; but Professor Simpson compared it to gymnastics and observed that it does have injury rates comparable to football and hockey. And it is par excellence a unisex sport!
So accordingly, the Athletic Committee recommended to the Board of Trustees that North Central State College adopt either beach volleyball or competitive cheerleading as an additional sport to replace football since the team was legendary in its haplessness and nonattendance.
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