Story of the Year
McCutcheon addresses athletes drinking: ‘Protect our brand.’
Published: Thursday, May 9, 2013
Updated: Thursday, May 9, 2013 15:05
Athletic director Bruce McCutcheon called an emergency meeting on Monday, February 11 for all varsity student-athletes.
When the group convened in the Kirby Sports Center, McCutcheon addressed several in-house issues that centered on athletes drinking excessively in the recent past.
Two-student athletes had to be hospitalized for over-consumption of alcohol over the past two weekends.
McCutcheon considered these incidents as an attack on the Lafayette “brand.”
Though McCutcheon briefly addressed concerns about student health by referring to the late Everett Glenn, the majority of his speech to the athletic body concerned the need to “protect the Lafayette brand.”
The 12-year athletic director came under fire in the following weeks for his statements, with one letter to the editor decrying the implication that Lafayette athletics had become a “business.”
These concerns are merely a reflection of a larger, nationwide discussion surrounding the relationship between student-athletes and their schools. For bringing this discussion to Lafayette, McCutcheon’s conference stands as the single most important storyline that Lafayette sports had to offer this year.
The student-athlete’s role as a collegiate moneymaker has been highly discussed in the sporting world of late, and Lafayette is not exempt. McCutcheon’s comments drove home the dilemma that the NCAA as a whole currently faces: student-athletes bring in big money to certain schools, but do not receive payment. Whether they should be rewarded for their significant contributions has become a hot topic.
Although Lafayette student-athletes don’t get the same national exposure as, for example, the USC’s and Ohio States of the country, Lafayette football and basketball are highly profiled locally. McCutcheon’s statements identifying student-athletes as high-profile representatives of the school remain controversial.
Though field hockey’s second-straight championship win and men basketball’s historic three-game sweep over Lehigh remain highlights of the 2012-13 year, McCutcheon’s meeting caught the campus’s attention like no other.
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Field hockey wins 2nd straight PL Championship
Football signs first-ever scholarship class
Men’s basketball beats Lehigh thrice in one season for the first time since 2000