The direction of Kent State sports

Wade Kratzer

Dear Editor,

I have been following Kent State football for the past seven years. Every year it becomes the same story – great rush defense, terrible pass defense, god-awful special teams and fluke-like offense. I am particularly disappointed in Brian Lainhart’s comments of “playing meaningful games in November.” For the past seven years, for the exception of 2005, we have always had meaningful games. It may be MAC play, however they are all games to potentially be invited to bowl games, something not accomplished in 38 years.

But discipline has always been a problem here at Kent State. Unfortunately we had special teams that would show up to practice inebriated and purposely missed kicks in games, yet remained on scholarship? Let alone basketball, whereby it becomes a fun game to guess which felony each player has committed and to know that this is the year that we might actually have the least amount of offenses. Or two years ago, we had more offenses than wins. I digress; I am not here to tarnish what I love so dear.

In regards to the letter to the editor from Purdue, it is obvious why we chose Alabama over you. And I was giddy to think that perhaps we chose this high volume deal to pay off Coach Martin…a little too late though. Now I am conflicted with weighing the options. Here we have a coach that has been around for seven years, not one winning season. However, this is arguably the best coach in recent years that has brought more wins to the program than others.

I have been protesting this for a while. National exposure is fine when it means something, but not when we are in the spotlight to be punished. Sure we can last with the big schools, but it’s time to step down a peg and schedule all four non-conference games to be played against mediocre D-2 teams. Buy wins. Its motivation and it gets people’s attention (nationally) to see Kent State 4-0 to start the season. If the power 6 conference teams can and get top ranking for it, why can’t we?

The 90ksu initiative is an outstanding program. Talk of football has never been greater. There was a time where it was honestly just myself in the entire student section, regardless of weather. However, to achieve this feat annually is simple: WIN. The introduction of alcohol of course helps attendance but nothing helps greater than winning.

So now I address this to you AND Joel Nielsen. I am excited when reading your resume. I believe you understand that money made in a sport stays in that sport. We have a proud legacy in basketball and are just beginning to develop a football program. I know you can lead Kent State to the top of the MAC and find its place in the top half of all football teams. We have our problems, we are not bad kids, but listen, we’re not Akron. We are KENT STATE.

Wade Kratzer

Graduate Student, Masters of Architecture