McWilliams: Rams should focus less on football

Leta McWilliams

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

Football season is arguably one of the best parts of college. Saturdays are filled with tailgates, camaraderie and the echo of a cannon surrounded by the cheers of students, faculty and alumni alike. It brings the Fort Collins community together in a way that almost nothing else can, and it’s a shame.

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Colorado State University football isn’t our top performing sport, and we know it. Through the year we should be focusing our attention, and money, on some of our other sports teams as well as taking stress off of CSU’s football team.

With our recent win on Saturday against Arkansas, CSU students are riding the wave of victory, especially after losing the 2018 Rocky Mountain Showdown. While this is exciting for the CSU community, there’s still stress for the student-athletes to perform well in future games.

For non-athletes, school is already stressful enough. Because of America’s obsession with college football, many student-athletes experience severe forms of anxiety and depression.

Recently, many college football players have shared their stories about dealing with mental illnesses in regards to their sport, such as Washington Huskies wide receiver Isaiah Woods. Some student-athletes even discussed turning to substance abuse in order to cope with the pressure, based on a 2016 report by ESPN.

We should support all of our teams as much as we support our football team, and stop putting all of our focus on one sport.

This type of stress shouldn’t be the norm for college athletes, and it could decrease if we as a community put less pressure on football. 

Many of CSU’s club teams play exceptionally well, yet they don’t get nearly as much support as CSU’s football team. CSU’s baseball team consistently performs well, yet they don’t receive the funding they need. An article published last May described the team’s frustrations with the lack of attention and funding from the university, and it’s completely warranted. They’re arguably the most successful team on campus, with conference titles and national championships, and they have an annual budget of only $3,000.

Even our official teams do well, and they don’t get nearly as much attention as our football team. CSU’s volleyball team finished their season last year with 29-4 overall. They’re one of most successful Division 1 volleyball programs in NCAA history, and yet they’re overshadowed by our football team.

We should support all of our teams as much as we support our football team, and stop putting all of our focus on one sport.

Some would argue that putting pressure on football is a good thing because it provides the school with more money and allows students to receive more athletic scholarships, especially since CSU spent more money providing scholarships to its athletes than any other school in the conference.

This mindset can be transferred to other sports. If we, as a university, put more emphasis on other sports that are performing well, we can still attract people and money to the university. The attention doesn’t have to be just on football, especially when we have such incredible athletes playing other sports. Instead of supporting sports where we leave at halftime out of disappointment, go support teams we can feel proud of. 

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We put way too much emphasis on college football, and it’s causing other athletes to be overshadowed. We should be supporting all of our teams, because they deserve it.

Leta McWilliams can be reached at letters@collegian and online at @LetaMcWilliams.