Thinker: Why don't you go and see some of the "other" GW sports teams in action before you denounce their presence on the GW sports roster? Net week the GW crew races against Penn for the Macausland Cup, on the Potomac. That cup belongs to Penn but GW has won the race twice so we keep the cup until Penn can get it back. Check it out. The week afterwards, GW hosts the GW Invitational regatta -- a splendid series of races against crews like Navy, Georgetown, Virginia and other great programs. GW now participates in a prestigious college rowing association and races against Ivy League schools as Columbia, Yale, Penn, etc. OK, it ain't football or basketball, but it is the big leagues for rowing crew.
Why don't you go see a GW baseball game? Barcroft Park in Arlington, Virginia, is not that far from GW's campus by car. So far, the team's efforts have given mied results but the games are usually fun to watch.
Why not see a Tennis match at the Mount Vernon campus?
Now some "Odds and Ends" from CJS:
GW participates in 10 mens' sports: Cross-country; Soccer; Water-Polo; Basketball; Swimming; Tennis; Crew; Baseball; Squash; Golf.
Baseball is the oldest sport at GW, the first game being played against Georgetown in the 1870's -- there is a reference to it in a historical book about Georgetown U. Of course that game was played as "Columbian" verses Georgetown. Tennis goes back to the 1930s I beleive; and crew started in the mid-1950's. Soccer started in the late 1950's and Golf made its debut in 1920's. Swimming started in 1930's out of the old YMCA not far from the campus (17th Street & G St. NW) and was ended in 1950's? but it made a comeback in 1975 with the Smith Center opening. Water Polo started in the 1980's and Cross country and Squash are recent additions.
These sports programs, together, cost GW plenty. For eample, the GW crew will race in a championship regatta in Sacramento, California (against old established Western rowing programs such as Stanford, UCLA, Washington, Southern Cal as well a number of elite Eastern programs (Georgetown will be there). The single regatta will set GW back more then $40,000. However, it is very prestigious. Then there is GW's continuing plan to build a multi-million dollar boathouse in the Georgetown waterfront that will set us back a bit. If you contemplate abolishing these sports programs, remember they have very supportive alumni constituencies.
AU has gone, sadly I might add, the route suggested by Thinker and it has hurt their credibility. AU has eviserated its mens' sports program -- I suggest that they have only five mens sports (forgive me but like the Washington Times' Mr. Daly I am too lazy to double-check that on the AU athletic site before printing it). AU no longer fields baseball or tennis. That type of athletic program states plainly that AU is not interested in college sports anymore than it has to be: you get an impression that AU's administration would gladly drop all varsity sports once student apathy reaches the appropriate level. Has the demise of AU's overall sports program helped their basketball team?
A mens' varsity lacrosse program would be a boon to GW's sports credibility. It would have to be paired with a new womens' sports program (the Title I mens-womens parity thing) but that could be Field Hockey. The Mount Vernon playing field would have to be increased to accommodate seating -- a move strictly opposed by the local citizens association and Advisory Neighborhood Council. Then there is the nagging question of money and the budget.
Then there is the dream issue of football (remember Daniel Burnham wrote: do not dream small dreams, dream great dreams). Setting aside the very real prohibitive issue of money, the ability of fielding Division I football is not as insurmountable as it was some years ago. Now, there is a stadium available. With professional soccer set to leave RFK Stadium, RFK will be empty and the city has no plans to tear it down. If any area university (read GU, GW, AU or CU) wanted use of the staduim for football games, the city would be glad to oblige. The old GW football team used Griffith Stadium for years as their base (Washington Senators owner Cal Griffith was a GW alum and gave them effectively free use of the stadium). DC would not give us the stadium for free but they would need to be reasonable as RFK is currently a white elephant for the city. For practice facilities, there is the Mount Vernon field.
How about GW starting up a Division IA (now the BCS Champiionship series) level football team and joing the Big East only for football (Hell, Temple did that for several years). Such a football program could be our camel's nose under the tent for Big East membership. OK, let's bring up the pesky issue of money and end the dream. Time to wake up.