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Give and Take: Sunday letters

Sun., March 2, 2014

GU leaves alums out

Gonzaga’s legendary football teams (1921 to 1941) played where Foley Library stands today. Similarly, Zagmania began in lowly Martin Center (formerly the Kennedy Pavilion) when the Zags reached the 1999 Elite Eight.

Under Dan Fitzgerald, some practices were open to watch.  At McCarthey Center, one can’t even watch shootarounds, let alone buy a game ticket. In the ’70s through the ’90s, the alumni played noon hoops and tennis with students and faculty. Today, Gonzaga’s  website says “no outside memberships are available due to maximized use of Rudolf Center.”

 I surveyed the other 27 Jesuit universities regarding alumni recreation rights. The California schools, Big East members Creighton, Xavier, Marquette, plus St. Louis, St. Joseph’s, and the Loyolas – New Orleans, Maryland, and Chicago – said “Yes, we have alumni memberships.” Many had two fitness areas.

A majority are in major urban areas (Georgetown, Boston U., Fordham). Passes were yearly, monthly, and daily. Some e-mailed their rates and facility directions.

Gonzaga has had 15 years to adjust to its rapid growth. What about non-prime times such as early mornings or late evenings for alumni? The new Stevens Center could be its breakthrough second facility if shared. Why not, Gonzaga?

Mike Kraft


Kennel behavior rude

Regarding recent articles about the conduct of the Kennel Club during Gonzaga men’s home basketball games, I believe the rude behavior is not at all about school spirit, but all about children with fourth-grade mentalities, who were never taught good sportsmanship, trying anything and everything to get themselves shown on TV. 

They know that TV cameramen can’t resist Halloween costumes and lowlife behavior. Turning their backs on visiting team introductions? You bet. Apparently Gonzaga is OK with this conduct. 

I think that for the first time, the Bulldogs are starting to rely on rude fans to win games, and that doesn’t bode too well for our road schedule against teams who’ve experienced that behavior at McCarthey Center. They think it’s payback time.  And it sure won’t help us get past the first or second round of the NCAA tournament, if we should get that far.

My wife and I are diehard fans, and we expect better of Gonzaga. 

Gary Griffith


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