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Football vs. music: Football wins
by Larry Wilson
Jul 07, 2008 | 619 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With the Fourth of July over and a good deal of the flag waving curtailed as a result, it’s time to return to our current reality, that being budget cuts all over.

At the University of Nevada, Reno, the powers that be are going to shut down the university’s marching band as one of the cost-saving measures. Almost in the same breath, however, they are announcing that the university will be spending a cool $500,000 to rejuvenate the turf on the football field. The new and improved artificial turf was to have a guaranteed life of 10 years or better. What part of that supposed guarantee will be honored is unknown, but apparently the existing eight-year-old turf does not have the right softness for football play at the current time.

I’m real sorry that the turf won’t be so cushy for the football players to fall on, but as it stands now, the band won’t even be able to walk on it. Beer sales will continue, of course – they bring in lots of money – but the band is only for spirit and I guess with enough beer in you, we don’t need spirit. I called the NCAA offices in St. Louis several years ago and they were unaware that UNR even sold alcohol at their NCAA-sanctioned games. Apparently, no alcohol is to be sold at NCAA-sanctioned events.

UNR President Milt Glick has furloughed several professors to stave off the continued bloodbath of red ink at the university level. In so doing, he has made it impossible for some students to get the needed classes for their degree completion in a timely fashion as the classes won’t be offered. There has not been one dismissal of any coaches from the athletic department that I know of. It has become blatantly obvious where the sacred cow of the University of Nevada resides.

I didn’t know that they had cattle stalls and hay bales in the locker rooms of the university’s athletic department. I know with Chris Ault running things, we’ve had more than our fair share of B.S. (basic stuff) for years, but I didn’t know we had the stalls and hay bales in the locker rooms to boot.

Without a marching band, many music major students will not be able to get scholarships as well. Many of those music majors go on to become teachers in our local school districts. Without scholarships even their attending the university might be in question not to mention their ultimate graduation.

If cutbacks are so necessary at the university, then the universality of the university should kick in and the cuts should be across the board throughout the entire university system.

Cutbacks are not pleasant at any time, but I for one would sure rather keep a promising young music director pursuing his or her degree than worry whether or not some football player has a softer landing when he hits the ground.

Larry Wilson is a 50-year resident of Sparks and a retired elementary school teacher. You can contact him at
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