[eDebate] Admiral Crowe and athletics

Daniel Overbey dan.debate
Tue Oct 23 12:16:07 CDT 2007


I think that comment deserves more context all of a sudden.  The Academy
often privileges athletics over intellectual extra-curriculur activities.
This is painfully apparent during the budget allocation time.  When he and I
had that conversation, I was talking to anyone who would listen about my
need for more resources for my team.  Meanwhile, the paintball club was
getting more money than they requested.

I have NEVER heard a military leader say, "warriors don't need to be in
shape", and I suspect Admiral Crowe would have objected to that statement
vehemently.  Remember, he lived his college debate life (excepting his year
as a Cowboy....wait, make that a Sooner) in an environment where students
have to pass physical tests as often as academic ones.  EVERY Mid must run
1.5 miles, do a pile of sit-ups, and a pile of push-ups to a passing grade
once a semester just to stay enrolled.  This is exclusive of PE classes,
intramural sports, and any intercollegiate teams.

The characterization of Admiral Crowe's comment as meaning that debate and
sports are mutually exclusive may be true in some worlds, but it is
CERTAINLY not an accurate characterization of the world in which he said
it.  In the service academy world, debate is an activity that is sometimes
valued, and sometimes not, but one that is NEVER allowed to trade off with
the physical activity side of life.  When I was coaching, I would wake up
and FREQUENTLY run into mids just coming back from a run or a quick workout
BEFORE the day's activities began.  Maybe the service academies have figured
something out...

Dan
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