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Future of Baylor's football a perplexing issue

Nov. 19, 1999

As football season draws to a close this fall, I can't help but feeling disappointed. We enter into our final game against Oklahoma State, 20 point underdogs and 0-7 in conference play.

I admit I haven't been the best supporter of Baylor football this year; I have yet to make it out to a game, nor have I even viewed a game all the way through on television. It's not that I'm lazy or that I'm ashamed. I simply am uninspired, unmotivated, and I'm not alone.

From what I understand, attendance at home games has plummeted, and attendance at away games is virtually nonexistent. Why the sudden drop in fan base? Possibly because our team is less than spectacular. It's hard to get all jazzed up about a team that consistently loses.

My freshman year we won four games; sophomore year two; junior year the same. Thus I stand to have seen only eight football victories during my entire college experience. Now that's not a losing season--that's a losing legacy.

I don't blame the coaches. Sure they all have their weak points, but some things are simply out of their control.

Take Dave Roberts for example. Here was a guy who was offensive coordinator for a stretch with a talented Notre Dame prior to landing his job here as head coach. Taking over the Reedy program, he's pressured to create an entirely new team with players Reedy has already recruited and procedures Reedy has already initiated, and when he fails to do so, we let him go and start all over again.

If Kevin Steele survives another year, I'll be very surprised. It seems to be Baylor policy to appease the appetite of it's angered fans, and the easiest way to do this is to fire the head coach. Ironically it also happens to be the best way to ensure another losing season. But Steele isn't to blame. Nor are our players. They're probably so confused, some having played under the direction of three different coaches, each with his own approach and policies, they don't know what to do.

Then there are those who say lack of spirit is the problem. We definitely don't have the overwhelming support of the student body -- that's for certain -- and I'll be the first one to admit that I am part of the problem. Yet I don't blame the students for not showing their support. There's simply no flag to rally behind. Nothing left for us to take pride in.

To eventually produce a winning team will take time. Time a coach can spend with his players and staff, building and developing a solid football program. Time players can spend practicing and gaining respect for their coach.

So where does this leave us? I wish I knew. Maybe with a lot of patience and few million dollars we'll get there someday.

Aron Watman is a senior telecommunications major from Dana Point, Calif.