On December 19, 2001 I was reading the Charlotte Observer. On the second page of the spots section I came accross an article stating that Coach Bleil was being “reassigned”. Knowing that one WCU football player is being charged with second degree murder and two others seriously injured fellow students at a fraternity party, I could only guess that Western is holding Coach Bleil responsible? Excuse me but what does Coach Bleil have to due with the actions of three adults off the football field? These three young men are consenting adults who will have to face the concequences of their actions. Why is the coach of the football team being thrown under the bus? In my opinion Western is going about this all wrong. By this action Western is going to alienate more alumni by firing the winningest coach in nine seasons. I realize that a university’s job is to educate but the way to bring in alumni support and dollars is by good athletic teams…not by awarding Merit scholarships. As a graduate of Western I do not reuturn to the school to see the classrooms. I come to watch football games. Just like millions of others who attend their almamater every Saturday in the fall. Western is not the first school to have a couple of bad seeds in their athletic programs. I can’t recall any other schools firing a coach because of something a player did. Why Western? I recall a party in ’96 that I and many other Greeks atteneded. It was a Halloween mixer with three fraternities and three soroities in attendance. It was a Greek function only(bylaws handed down by the Dean of Students). About two hours into the party members of the basketball team decide to crash the party. After being asked to leave a number of times one of the players decided to smash a beer bottle over one of my Brother’s head. As you can imagine a large altercation insued. After a number of the Greeks were repremanded by the university nothing happened to the players which was unbelievable(year they went to the big dance maybe). And nothing happened to the coach. Why is the coach being punished now? Chancellor Bardo, I know you want Western to be a little Duke but you are tying a knot in the biggest source of revenue for the school. Firing the “Coach of the Year” in the SoCon makes the school the laughing stock of the UNC system. If I killed someone they wouldn;t fire my Dad from his job. They would come after me. Punish the young men who commited the crimes…not the coach of the football team. they played on.
Matt ReillyClass of 1997.