By Josh Russell, Class of 2012
Letter to the Editor:
I don’t know about you, but reading the Classifieds in FirstClass is one of the countless ways I procrastinate. Several days ago I was doing just that when I came across the following request from the Furman Football team:
“The Furman Football Staff is looking for 6 female student-volunteers to assist with their pre-game recruiting visits for all 5 home games.”
This request struck me as the complete antithesis of what I have come to know Furman and the football team for. I am a senior and have been to every single home game each year as well as several away games, and I was embarrassed that such an opportunistic, sexist request should be associated with my team and my university. It’s not like it was subtle either. The announcement was posted on Classifieds!
Now, how is that sexist or degrading, you ask? The mere fact that only female students were asked to volunteer is enough. Never mind questions about whether said students were selected for their looks as well (I have no evidence of that, just wondering). I understand that you need to give prospective athletes tours of the campus to encourage them to sign with Furman, but certainly you could accomplish this with the regular Admissions Ambassadors. Do we really need to use female students to get the best players to come to Furman? Are we that desperate? There are hardly any schools left in the area that have gender-specific groups for recruiting football players, particularly after the recent NCAA investigation into the University of Tennessee’s football program. Do we really want to admit that the morals of Furman Football are similar to Tennessee and below Georgia?!
I am not saying that having female students give tours will not encourage recruits to come play at Furman. I’m sure it will. What I am saying is that it is sexist and morally wrong. Personally, I do not want players who will come here just because of the women. Let them go to the schools that I associate with such absurd, chauvinistic behavior, such as Georgia Southern or Appalachian State. I do not have anything against the football team or our new coach, Bruce Fowler. I hope they win every remaining game this year and every year to come. But I also hope they do not think we need girls giving tours to accomplish that. Furman football is certainly better than that. At least I thought it was.