Tenacious D: There's a First Time For Everything

Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages:

For your reading pleasure, I present for you the first men's volleyball column in the history of The Harvard Crimson. That's right, it's been 128 years in the making and now, without further adieu, an opinionated look at the Crimson volleyballers.

The first and foremost thing I would like to assert is that, like Rodney Dangerfield, the men's volleyball team gets no respect. No respect from the Athletic Department, no respect from the student body, and, up until recently, no respect from my beloved publication. What's even worse about this lack of respect is that, while no one was looking, the team has actually blossomed into something special.


Under Coach Tom Wilson, now in his third year with the program, the Crimson has gone from being a perennial bottom-feeder in the EIVA with a lackluster work ethic to a league contender with one of the most rigorous year-long practice schedules at this school.

"Since Coach [Wilson] came to Harvard, our program has really grown in leaps and bounds," said sophomore middle blocker Alex Kowell. "We're really serious about what we're doing and we definitely now mean business."

Despite Wilson's impressive stewardship of the team, he is considered somewhat of a second-class coach. While putting in full-time hours, he is compensated as a part-time coach, and his one and only assitant coach joined the team on a volunteer basis.

In addition, recruiting has been a problem for the up-and-coming program. According to sources on the team, the men's volleyball program routinely has academically talented recruits turned away because there is no additional space for volleyball on the Athletic Department's recruit lists.

This lack of recruiting power hurts the men's volleyball team more substantially than other teams. Football, which boasts a roster of well over 90 players, would not be severely hamstrung with one or two fewer recruits. Volleyball, on the other hand, often depends on recruiting to fill its roster, turning to walk-ons when talented athletes are turned away by the Admissions Office.

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