Tag Archives: Sports

Division I tackles pay for play controversy

After the conclusion of March Madness, I’m sure everyone knows how much money is in the commercialization of Division I athletics. In fact, about 90 percent of the profits made by televised college sporting events go back to these big name institutions. That money not only funds the athletic complexes and medical care, but it also helps pay wages for professors and other funds a majority of academic expenses. Basically, in bigger institutions having successful sports program (such as football or basketball) is essential to having a successful institution.

However, student-athletes at Northwestern University have challenged their university claiming that they should be paid for their athletic commitments. The National Labor Relations Board in Chicago has ruled that football players at Northwestern University are employees and have the right to unionize.

The evidence that lead to the ruling included athletes getting paid in the form of scholarships, working between 20 and 50 hours per week and generating millions of dollars for their institutions. The football players are ultimately seeking better medical coverage, concussion testing, four-year scholarships and the possibility of being paid through an organized union.

Northwestern University is appealing the verdict and the case could go as far as the U.S. Supreme Court. This could mean years before there is a definitive decision on this very unusual case.

If you’re thinking that this is totally ridiculous and absurd, you are not alone. Sports directors, coaches, alumni, big institution presidents and the NCAA have all jumped at the opportunity to voice their opinions on the verdict.

“While improvements need to be made, we do not need to completely throw away a system that has helped literally millions of students over the past decade alone attend college,” said the statement from NCAA chief legal officer Donald Remy.

Mike Slave, commissioner for the Southeastern Conference (SEC), also openly disagreed with the verdict saying, “the SEC does not believe that full-time students participating in intercollegiate athletics are employees of the universities they attend.”

The amount of criticism and backlash on the Northwestern football players is overwhelming and for good reason. If this decision is finalized, the dynamics of Division 1 sports could completely change for good. Less popular athletic programs such as golf, tennis, lacrosse, and even baseball and softball could suffer from extensive financial losses as they would be unable to pay their athletes nor would potential student-athletes find it worth playing without adequate compensation. Prestigious Division 1 institutions, such as Duke and Stanford, may give up football all together to maintain academic integrity. This would without a doubt change the landscape of Division I competition. In short, athletic programs’ focus would be on financial profit, not on the love or enjoyment of the sport.

However, I can’t help but sympathize with these players. Even though most of these Division I athletes have tuition costs mostly covered and are given endless amounts of free shoes, apparel, equipment, and athletic care; I can’t help but feel that they are being used by their colleges’ for financial gain. The students wear name brands that the college sponsors, they have hectic schedules which leave them out of the classroom during season, and the pressure to consistently perform at their best is enormous. Imagine being a starting player on Wichita State’s basketball team (one of the top-seeded teams going into the D1 NCAA Tournament) and losing early on in the playoffs to no. 7 seed Kentucky? Knowing that you not only have to play for yourself but for a whole institution and fans who have money on your performance is a reality that I can’t fully grasp my head around.

What affects me the most is that these players admit to not being able to major in the field of study that they are passionate about. According to an article by CNN, approximately 15 percent of men’s football, baseball and basketball players say that they would have majored in something different if they had not been athletes, and there was 12 percent of Division I football players said that athletics have prevented them from majoring in what they wanted. As Linfield has over 30 percent of its population involved in Division III sports, I’m sure many of us can relate.

Maybe the football players at Northwestern University have a point. Spending on average six hours a day committed to athletics may be a sacrifice needed to be compensated financially by their institution. However, labeling these student-athletes as workers and paying them for representing an academic institution is completely detrimental to the integrity of sports and to the way we enjoy athletics.

Camille Weber/Sports columnist


Men’s golf plays solid rounds at weekend tournament

The men’s golf team played in the Willamette University Invitational the weekend of April 13, and played just about average. Playing on Broken Top golf course in “perfect conditions”, as Linfield sophomore Kyle Hargrave explained, the team placed third after both rounds.

Day one was a great one for junior Logan Munson, as he shot a career best 75. The smooth greens and dry climate definitely seemed to help Munson strike the ball well and clean.

Taylor Klopp and Kyle Hargrave had the two best round of the tournament for the Wildcats. Klopp shot a 78 on the first day but came back the second day with his eyes on the prize, shooting a 74.

Hargrave was a little more consistent, but still showed improvement from the first to second day. He shot a 77 on the first day and finished with a 75 on the second.

“I don’t think I played very well on the first day”, Hargrave said. “I just scrambled for a lot of pars. [April 13], I played better, but still missed a few birdie tries.”

While no one finished under par, everyone played fairly well. Linfield place in the top half of the standings for a second week in a row now and look to be getting back on track and regain the spark they had at the beginning of the season.

“We played pretty well, in great conditions and on a good course,” Hargrave said.

Linfield travels back to a Willamette home course on April 18 to play in the Willamette Cup at Tokatee golf course.

This will be the second weekend in a row that Willamette hosts an even, and the last weekend before the Northwest Conference Championship tournament begins. That tournament will be hosted on the weekend of April 26 at the Oregon Golf Association Golf Course in Woodburn, Ore.

Drew Mahrt/For the Review


Record breaker is the cutting Edge

Freshman Dallas Edge has always been known to be a hard-worker, relentless athlete, and wonderful teammate. However, Edge put the term history maker on the list as she broke Linfield Col-lege’s women’s 100-meter Hurdles record on March 22 with time 14.74.

“Honestly, I thought ‘I’m just gonna run this race’ and I warmed up feeling like I always do and by the third or fourth hurdle I realized that no one was next to me,” she said. “After the race Travis came over and said, ‘Oh by the way you just ran a 14.7.’ I hadn’t expected to run that fast this early and I didn’t even know the school record was broken. After the event, everyone came up congratulating me. It was awesome.”

However, Edge notes that her intentions of this season were not to break the school record. Rather, she wanted to achieve big goals like “making conference championships or qualifying for nationals.”

“I wanted to do whatever I had to do to have qualifying times,” Edge said. “All that matters to me is having a good season and our team winning conference—meaning I need to perform just as well as everyone else.”

Her excellence on the field has not come easily. Edge has worked extremely hard both inside and outside the classroom to achieve her goals.

“I just try to make every rep count. I treat everything like a race and I try to critique every little thing because in the end, those little things matter—they all add up to 0.01 of a second.”

Outside the field, Edge aspires to go into a sports-medicine field as a biology major in hopes of helping athletes like herself. She maintains a 3.4 GPA and previously competed on the ’Cats women’s soccer team.

Meanwhile, Edge says that her teammates and coaches have been crucial pieces to her successes.

“Coming into the season I didn’t know anyone,” Edge said. “I went home to train by myself and I came back and didn’t know anyone. Travis was cool and helped me to get back into the flow of things. But when I came back, I sensed a team atmosphere and it was awesome to become a part of that. Seeing what we’re about as a team.”

Going forward, “Everyone knows how close we are to being able to win and what it’s going to take from everyone to be on the same page. I want to win a conference title,” she said. “I want to make the finals everything I run but the bigger thing is, as a team, that everyone competes and shows up that day.”

As the Wildcat track and field team moves forward into the post season, there is no doubt that they will be seeing more of Edge and all of her accomplishments. While her career continues at Linfield, it is clear that Edge has no edge. Her fight and commitment is limitless and will allow her to continue to do great things both on and off the field.

Casie Gaza/Senior sports reporter


Baseball crushes Lutes in weekend games

It was a rainy ball game for the Wildcats who defeated the Pacific Lutheran University in a series.

On April 4, it was ace pitcher, junior Chris Haddeland on the mound for the ’Cats. The first inning was a stoic inning with neither team scoring any runs. However, in the bottom of the second, it was clear that the Wildcats had decided to make their move. As senior Clayton Truex singled to left field, senior catcher Jake Wylie cracked a home run driving in Truex, earning two RBI, and putting the score 2-0 ’Cats. The third and fourth inning continued the excitement as it was a battle of the pitchers—the Lutes earning three hits and the Wildcats earning two. However, the score remained 2-0 in favor of the ’Cats. Linfield would then score again in the bottom of the sixth with an RBI from senior Kenny Johnson and thus continuing their lead, 3-0. The ’Cats would shut down the Lutes from then on earning another conference victory.

The second game however, was much more eventful for the ’Cats who took another victory from the Lutes 7-1. Their first score came in the bottom of the second inning with an RBI from senior Nate McClellan. However, the climax of the game came in the bottom of the fourth inning as Linfield drove in four runs to give them a 5-0 lead. With another home run and RBI from Wylie, with addition to RBI’s from McClellan and senior Corey VanDomelen, the Wildcats had exploited their dominance on the field. Although the Lutes attempted a come back and pulled off one run in the top of the sixth, they wouldn’t see another. The Wildcats cleaned up their double header in the bottom of the eighth with yet another home run from Wylie driving in two runs.

In the third match of the series, the ’Cats owned their dominance with a 6-1 victory. Half of Linfield’s six runs came in the bottom of the first inning with RBI’s from senior Nick Fischer, Truex, and McClellan. Then, the ’Cats would score two unearned runs in the third inning, increasing their lead to 5-0. They would score once more in the bottom of the sixth from an RBI by Fischer and the Lutes demonstrated no signs of a comeback.

“It’s great to be 15-1, we’re able to control our destiny in terms of a conference title,” Haddeland said. “But although we’ve gotten off to a great start we know there is still a lot of season left and we need to keep improving and working toward being the best team we can be. Obviously we wanted to win the series. We knew they had some quality arms in their rotation, but our hitters were able to grind out a few runs in the first game and blew the second one open. Right now we’re still focused on winning conference. We take each game one at a time and make sure we’re not over looking anyone.”

With their diligent and relentless attitude, it is exciting to see what the ’Cats will be able to produce in the future. Only time will tell how their gifted skills and teamwork will combine to become something greater themselves.

Casie Gaza/Senior sports reporter


Track and Field win big at home meet

It was a windy Saturday for the Wildcat track team who competed in the Jenn Boyman Memorial Invitational on April 5.

The Linfield ‘A’ relay team placed third in the women’s 4×100 meter relay and second in the 4×400 meter relay. The team consisted of junior Ellie Schmidt, freshman Dallas Edge, sophomore Rachael Gernhart, and freshman Haley Pattishal.

“Our girls team is a force to be reckoned with,” Edge said. “I know speaking for the sprinters and jumpers we have enough talent, as well as the distance girls, to win conference.” Likewise, the men’s team placed fifth in the 4×100 meter relay with time 44.25. The all freshman team consisted of Treve Ensley, Jake Mihelich, Bryce Evans, and Kennedy Johnson. In the men’s 4×400 meter relay, sophomore Steven Holland, sophomore Tom Steelhammer, sophomore Manuel Finley and Mihelich managed to pull out a third place finish with time 3:29.39.

The hurdles competition where Edge claimed her dominance placing first time with time 15.01 seconds and a deduction of 2.4 seconds from the headwind in the 100-meter Hurdles competition.

“I am happy that I took advantage of the competition today,” Edge said. “I ran well, won overall, and felt fast over the hurdles.”

In the 400-meter dash, freshman Jake Mihelich placed second with time 49.27—just 0.07 seconds short of the first place runner.

“I feel pretty good about my individual performances,” Mihelich said. “I think an important individual strength of mine would be giving it my all every time I get the chance to perform. It’s a privilege to run collegiate track.”

Junior Halsie Peek then came up big for the Wildcats placing seventh out of thirty in the women’s 100-meter dash. Peek earned a time of 13.45 and a 2.3 deduction from headwind. In the women’s 800 meter run, junior Audrey Lichten contributed to the ’Cats team score by placing third with time 2:22.97.

It was the 5000-meter run where Linfield’s track and field team stole the audience. In the women’s 5000 meter run, the ’Cats pulled out the top four places with senior Hannah Greider taking first place with time 18:33.79, senior Siena Noe coming in second with time 18:42.74, senior Katie Skinner taking third at 18:48.53 and junior Madison Trowbridge in fourth with time 19:03.62. In the men’s competition, senior Joe Gladow brought it home for the ’Cats with time 15:42.41 and a third place victory.

“Individually, I believe I’m a strong and experienced runner, which will help when it comes to running at the conference meet,” Gladow said. “I’ve been very happy with how the season has progressed. I feel like now I’m really getting into good shape and am ready for some big races.”

Johnson tied for second in the long jump with distance 6.54 meters. Right behind him was freshman Eric Igbinoba at distance 6.26 meters. Gernhart also showed well for the Wildcats jumping 10.93 meters in the women’s triple jump. In the men’s triple jump, Johnson flew for a distance of 13.57 meters and a second place finish.

Senior Anna LaBeaume threw well for the Wildcat track and field team with distance 35.72 meters in the women’s discus throw and 44.94 meters in the hammer throw. On the men’s side, senior Nick Fairhart finished third in the men’s hammer throw with distance 51.25. However, it was senior Kate Shear who stole the show for the Wildcats with distance 38.88 meters in the women’s javelin throw giving her a first place finish in the event. Similarly, senior Hunter Sams came up big for the Wildcats with his distance of 51.64 meters in the men’s javelin throw also giving him the first place finish.

There is no doubt that this invitational was a successful one for the Wildcat track and field team.

“As a team we are just looking forward to finishing out the season big, with good weather on the way hopefully we all taper and get faster and stronger,” Edge said. “Everyone’s been working so hard and we are all just excited to get to conference and lay it all on the line.”

With Edge’s new record times and unrelenting effort, she notes that she is “Happy with how [she] has processed.”

“I don’t think it could have gotten any better,” Edge said. “My hard work is definitely showing and I think the whole team could say the same.”

“Progression is the name of the game. As long as everyone keeps moving forward toward [personal records] and conference qualifying times, we are improving,” Mihelich said. “We are all looking forward to hitting that amazing game changing personal record—a chance to prove out team is the strongest, fastest, and touchiest in the conference just sounds like an awesome opportunity.”

With the post season around the corner and the team’s peaking performances, there’s no doubt that these next few weeks will be eventful for the Wildcats.

Casie Gaza/Senior sports reporter