“If we didn’t want to win, we wouldn’t step on the field.”

ULM Hawkeye

Dear Editor,

I am a student-athlete on the football team and I am writing in response to the suggestions Matthew Midyett made to the athletic department in his previous letter to the editor.

While Matthew made many good points there are certain things that he, like most students, do not understand about why we play those games. The three “big money” games we play each season are crucial to this university. The money the school receives when we play those schools is what helps drive this campus. Without that money we would not be able to continue to grow. Money means everything to a school, and in order for us to become the university we all want to be, we need to keep playing those games.

Believe it or not, another reason we need those game is recruiting. Matthew make a good point when he said that winning brings in recruits, but what he does not realize is that those big games also are a huge recruiting tool for the team. I know when ULM first recruited me four years ago, the three big games were one of the biggest selling points they told me and my parents about. Being able to play in three big time SEC or Big 12 stadiums a year is something that most people will never get to do in their lifetime. Sure, we proved four years ago against Alabama it can be done. When you beat a team that no one thought you could, there is no better feeling in the world. By playing those games it gives us a chance to grab that feeling one more time.

I understand the frustration that students must feel when they look at our schedule and see the out-of-conferences games we play each year. ULM is the only team in all of college football to open up with a ranked opponent three years in a row (Auburn, Texas, Arkansas). Even though we usually lose those games, they are important in the development of our team. Playing some of the best schools in the country three times a year makes us a better team. Simply knowing that we have competed against teams that will be bidding for a National Championship helps our confidence in games against other Sun Belt schools. There are some things in football that a player can only learn in a game, and those games accelerate that learning curve. The experience someone gains by playing in a hostile environment of 90,000 screaming fans is something that cannot be coached and it is something that ultimately helps us win games later in the season. We want nothing more than to win every game that we play. If we didn’t want to win, we wouldn’t step on the field. Even though the odds maybe stacked against us we play those big schools we still expect to win, and so should you.

Alex Chace

Senior Mass Communications major