This is one of the great times in our world – the intersection of our fall sports headed to post-season, the end of fall practices for our spring teams, and the beginning of basketball season – all when we are finishing the semester academically. What an incredibly busy, but exciting time for our coaches, student-athletes, and staff.
This month’s quote hangs directly outside our football team’s locker room at 188 MLK:
“Losers assemble in small groups and complain about the coaches and other players. Winners assemble as a TEAM and find ways to win.”
Senior football player Trey Payne illustrates the relevancy of this statement. An introduction, Trey serves as the President of our Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. He is also a college graduate. In his career, Trey has played a lot of football for us, but our team has not had the on-field results he or others expected. He is also sharing reps at his linebacker position. However, he has not given up. Just the opposite, he continues to work, lead and learn. Saturday, Trey took a hit that put him out of the game for much of the first half. He had a choice to either take off his pads and watch the game from the sidelines with his teammates or play through the discomfort and be a part of something bigger than himself. Trey chose to battle. As we all know, he made an outstanding open field tackle on the game’s final play to secure our third straight win in the series. Victories are always sweet, and especially so when you know stories behind the wins.
I hope last Saturday’s exhibition game win versus Georgia Tech has everyone excited for our men’s basketball team this year. I know Ron likes this team a lot and is especially proud of the unselfish play of his leaders, which was on display during the game. I also know our women’s team exhibits the same potential this year by mixing several outstanding veteran players with a couple new impact players. As the weather finally turns cooler, remember to come support the Panthers on the court!
Finally, two months remain in the calendar year 2017. This is a perfect time to consider a year-end gift to the Panther Athletic Club for scholarship support, facility enhancements (including a personalized locker in the new football space), or other programmatic areas of our department. Please let Leigh, Elizabeth or I know of your interest and we can facilitate the conversation. The Panther Athletic Club is only a few members away from having our largest base in history.
Fight Panthers Fight! On to Victory!
Director of Athletics