Letters to the editor

Name court after John Oldham

We saw a story on our newscast Tuesday night about a man on campus who works at Western, was a star athlete and a World War II veteran. The man’s name: Dero Downing. Downing, of course, is the namesake of the Downing University Center. That got us thinking: How many buildings on campus are named for significant contributors to the university?

Simply put, there are only a few buildings on campus not named for key figures in Western’s history. But one man has been conspicuously left out of the celebrations. Despite making more of a difference on the Hill than most anyone else in the 96-year history of Western, one man stands to be forgotten, remembered only by a banner or a couple of plaques in Diddle Arena.

The man is John Oldham.

Oldham was a basketball All-American under Coach Diddle in the 1940s, but his legacy stands to be much more than that. He coached College High School to the Boys’ Sweet Sixteen and coached Western from 1964-1971, leading the Toppers to multiple NCAA Tournaments and the program’s lone Final Four.

After the 1971 season, Oldham retired from coaching and served as Western’s athletics director until 1986. Plus, Oldham became a part-time instructor at Western after his retirement, teaching a basketball coaching class every semester.

Oldham is a member of nine halls of fame, including the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame, Western’s Athletic Hall of Fame, and most recently Western’s Hall of Distinguished Alumni.

However, future students and faculty will know of John Oldham only through a banner bearing his name in Diddle Arena, or a story someone thinks they remember from back when.

And so, as next semester will be Oldham’s last as an instructor on the Hill . we propose that Diddle Arena’s new playing floor (installed before the 2003-04 season) be named “John Oldham Court.”

As Oldham leaves the realm of Western’s faculty . it’s only fitting that he’s celebrated in a way Western basketball fans can see for all time.

For a man who meant so much to Western and continues to influence so many lives here, it’s only fitting.

James Brandenburg and Ben Idle,

Western NewsChannel 12 Sports

Louisville juniors

Students have no pride

As a native of Bowling Green, I remember first hand the problems which Western football struggled through. The team was not exactly a college powerhouse, and many members of the community believed the entire program should have been eliminated.

However, the fact is that the football program survived the university’s vote of no confidence and has grown into one of the premier organizations in I-AA football. In the last three years alone, the team has won a conference championship, played in a conference championship game and gone to the playoffs twice.

The question is, “Would any student or any person in the community know there was still a team without the aid of a media source?”

The answer is probably not, with the exception of our dedicated supporters and the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. To these people, I would like to express my gratitude, but to others, my disappointment.

It’s been puzzling over the last four years to witness the apathy associated with Western football. I have heard every excuse possible for not attending the home games. Students complain about the starting time, the weather, the offensive strategy and various other issues.

As a freshman, I was inclined to believe these things were truly associated with the poor attendance at home games.

I slowly realized these issues were irrelevant, and I developed my own theory.

The theory is that the student body has no pride. A minority will resent this statement and may do so on legitimate grounds, but the majority have earned this label, so it’s the majority I’m referring to.

It’s amazing all of the tailgaters who attended Homecoming and how may actually made it to the game. Maybe we should play flag football at halftime in order to attract all of the fraternities and sororities or allow the goalposts to be torn down at the end of every contest. These comments aren’t intended to be offensive but to simply remind you all of the frustration which is felt when it’s senior night, a championship caliber game is about to be played and there are not more than 300 students in the stands . I guess if we had Kentucky’s air raid offense and lost every game, the fans would flood the gates. The fact of the matter is that the student body should show some pride in their school’s athletics regardless of our offensive strategy, the weather, the game time or any other meaningless justification. Athletics bring notoriety and positive benefits to our campus, so it’s a shame to witness the neglect they get by the student body and much of the community.

One more thing, to the resident assistants who are so torn between their sacred policy handbook and the realities of tailgating, get a life! It’s not like we don’t have attendance problems as it is. Your crying antics for justice by the book will only diminish what’s left of our already numbered crowd.

Brian Lowder

Bowling Green senior