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The Paladin

Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

Intramural Drama Heats Up, Flares Tensions

Courtesy of Furman Athletics

“Words alone cannot express my disappointment in your sorority for once again forfeiting out of another intramural sport…,” Director of Campus Recreation Owen McFadden said in an email to Furman’s Tri Delta chapter after the chapter forfeited from a scheduled basketball game. “My one t-shirt says it all – Tri Delt….or Don’t Try at All. Congratulations on not trying.”

Intramural sports seem to have reached a tipping point in falling interest. Historically, Greek Life has acted as a major representative in intramural sports, but as a whole, the student body’s passion is waning.

Despite the drop in interest, McFadden’s email irked some Tri Deltas. “I thought it was a little bit ridiculous, sent before he took the time to be less mad about our lack of participation,” Claire Pullan ‘18 said. She is a member of the sorority and player on the former Tri Delta intramural basketball team.

“What I will say is I was upset with them for not showing up to play intramurals, and because I had a role as an academic advisor… I always have tried to help them out as much as possible,” McFadden argued.

There was, according to several sources, a brief moment of tension between McFadden and the sorority before the severing of their academic/advisee relationship.

But disinterest in intramurals continues. As non-Greek affiliated teams become less common, the burden of participation is being shouldered mostly by Greek life.

“With the exception of basketball, we are probably 75% plus Greek life in intramurals, which is a huge change during my 34 years here,” McFadden said.

Over the past 10 years, the number of intramural sports has declined. At a time, there were 12 team sports for intramurals, and 15 one day sports. This year, there were eight women sand volleyball teams, when in the past up to 60 teams participated.

“Now, we have seven team sports, so we’ve dropped five or more team sports over the course of 10 years and all 15 one day events because people just won’t show up to participate in them,” McFadden said. “So, that’s a little discouraging.”

The number of fans is also plummeting.

McFadden recalls a time when 300-400 students attended intramural basketball finals.

“I don’t see it being a big concern of the Greek student now to care whether or not they come to an intramural activity,” McFadden said. “If there’s something better for them, like I said and that was never ever really the case before.”

“It is sad that we have to rally people together just to go to a basketball game,”Pullan said. She would like to see participation increase.

When teams forfeit or cancel last minute, referees still show up for a paycheck, which reflects badly on multiple parties.

“It’s discouraging when I got an email this week on the day that a team was supposed to play that said, ‘we can’t play,’” McFadden said. “Well by that time the referees are already going to show up, so I’ve got to pay them to show up, to do nothing. We can notify the other team but I can make a guess that they’re disappointed that they don’t get to play.”

The bottom line is when sign ups happen, teams commit to a season’s worth of games. While everyone has busy schedules on campus, the fun in intramurals sports is being lost with constant rescheduling of games.

“Playing intramurals with members of the sorority is a ton of fun and can help build up comradery,” Pullan said.

The basketball and bowling season are currently in season and will end in mid-Feb. Contact Owen McFadden, or visit the Intramural Sports page at furman.edu for information on how to sign up.

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