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Mailbox: In support of IM sports

The intramural sports program at USF was created to give students the opportunity to meet new people, play a few games and just forget about school for awhile.

As a senior, I have been involved with the intramural program for all four years of my college career. I have been a player and an official, so I am able to clearly see both sides of the situation.

However, I must strongly disagree with Michael Recine’s claim that the intramural department has been making “sub-par efforts” in bringing the students a well organized program.

Time and time again I have seen some players take the games a little too seriously.

If Mr. Recine really believed that there was nothing more to gain by an IM victory other than bragging rights and pride, he wouldn’t have been so upset. It really angers me as a player to see people trying to relive their glory days in sports through a few intramural games. I am an extremely competitive person, I always have been, but I see no reason to blow up at an official just because you don’t agree with the call. It’s important to remember that the officials are students just like you and I, and they deserve the same respect that you do.

Mr. Recine also stated that the officiaIs did not have “the slightest shred of sports knowledge.” The IM officials are very well-trained. In fact, they are required to attend clinics before they are even allowed to officiate. As a player, you need to make yourself aware that intramural rules and traditional rules are not always the same. It is also the captain’s responsibility to make sure his players are fully aware of these rules before taking the field. All are welcome to attend the captain’s meetings or go to the intramural office where the friendly staff is more than willing to provide you with play regulations.

For future reference, if you have a question about a certain call made by the official, don’t wait until the end of the game. Ask immediately after the call is made. That’s something else that your captain should have told you. If you really think you could do a better job, I encourage you to become an official. It’s a lot harder than it looks, especially when it’s your turn to deal with someone like you.

It’s so easy to get upset at the few “bad” calls that are made during any game; that’s why most of us stand up and shout at the TV screen during professional games. However, I haven’t seen a single article praising the intramural department for the many great games that they have given us. In fact, I’d like to take this opportunity to do so. USF intramurals, I appreciate the experiences you’ve given me in the last four years. You’ve done a wonderful job giving us students the outlet we need to de-stress and play the sports that we love. I’ve met some great people through intramurals, and I’ll be walking away with many fond memories. For that I thank you.

As for the complainers: if an intramural championship shirt is really that important to you, I’ve got a few extra laying around somewhere.

Dulani Gunasinghe is a senior majoring in mass communications