COLUMN: Unlike the ending of a football game, CMU's integrity not up for debate
Since the Central Michigan football team’s upset win over Oklahoma State on Saturday, there has been a lot of talk about the spectacular final play and how the referees handled the game’s final moments.
CMU executed an improbable Hail Mary pass after a botched call by the referees at the end of the game. Those officials have since been suspended. That wasn’t good enough for Oklahoma State’s student newspaper, O’Colly.
We contacted O’Colly on Sunday, requesting photos from the game. They were wonderful to work with and sent us 16 images, some of which we used in Monday’s edition. I’d like to publicly thank O’Colly for its help.
About six hours before our deadline, after we re-designed our paper to add four pages of football coverage, we received a call from O’Colly’s Editor-in-Chief. He proposed a dueling editorial concept. Whatever that means. No deadline, no word count.
For us, writing a counter argument for another student newspaper on deadline was out of the question.
In this case, what could we have said? “Tough loss, guys.” “Good game.” “Best of luck the rest of the season.”
For us, it was time to move on to CMU’s next opponent, UNLV.
Apparently, O’Colly wasn’t done with CMU just yet.
O’Colly’s editorial published on Monday. Though the editor is now trying to mince words, it asked CMU to give the win back. There is no question about what they were suggesting. Failure to forfeit the victory, O’Colly stated, would contradict CMU’s mission statement and be a missed opportunity to “prove (CMU’s) integrity.”
It seems MAC officials aren’t the only ones making dumb calls.
Here’s something O’Colly should know: Chippewas know how to win with class and how to handle defeat with grace and humility.
CMU fans everywhere will tell you that not every season is a winning one. Win or lose, we believe in respect for the opponent and for the game. When our athletes and coaches make a mistake, our student newspaper calls them out for it. That’s our job. Not making excuses for them or asking opponents to forfeit a win.
The integrity of this place, which is so special to all of us, is not exclusively reflected during something as trivial a 60-minute college football game. It is embodied in the work and actions of every student, faculty member and administrator on this campus.
In the spirit of Chippewa sportsmanship, let me speak for all of us in saying thanks for a great game, Cowboys.
Be sure to give those Pittsburgh Panthers “Hail” this weekend.
But let us be clear.
We never had any interest in debating with O’Colly on the outcome of this game. We won. They lost. There is nothing more to say.
Except: Fire Up Chips.