Dear Mr. Avery:
Thank you for posting more information on this current “hot” topic.
As founding members of the NLU/ ULM water ski program, we feel that we must make a comment.
We were very disappointed to learn that two skiers have lost their scholarships for violating curfew AFTER the recent National Championships.
The water ski “club” was formed by students under the premise of competing in a sport we love and to have fun! Building friendships, working together, and being a TEAM was the foundation of this program. The fact that a curfew has been placed on skiers is against our founding principles! Deans Murphy and Lassiter are probably spinning in their graves right now! Mandatory “friending” on Facebook?? Give me a break! The water ski team won something like 10 National Championships in a row without imposed curfews or strict guidelines. We managed to play and compete, and still had one of the highest GPA’s of any group on campus.
The ski team is still a club, not an athletic organization, and falls under a different set of rules. Why should curfew still be imposed after the season is over?
The ULM ski program has gotten a reputation the last few years as being elitist and snobbish: The team does not stay at the same hotels as other ski teams, and rarely do they participate in the social events given by the tournament hosts. Again, Intercollegiate Water Skiing was started to encourage competition, but the interaction and camaraderie between the competing teams was as important as the competition itself.
Perhaps we should take a closer look at the “win at all costs” attitude and get back to basics. The program has grown, there are more scholarships available, and we understand there have to be some rules, but it certainly seems, from what we are hearing and reading, that the rules and rule-makers have gone overboard. We ski team Alums have enjoyed watching the ULM team progress over the years, but these are still student athletes, young men and women who are attending the university not just for the chance to ski, but for the opportunity to learn and grow; to make mistakes and hopefully learn from them and become better people.
Enough of the Big Brother (Big Sister?) police – get back to skiing and having fun!
Bill & Jenny Rainwater
NLU Ski Team, 1977-1980