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Sports Opinion: You get what you give

By Tim Wilmes
On September 19, 2012

The funeral procession has already begun for most students. Since Dec. 10 of last year, students
have argued over divisive issues about this basketball program,
which has been put under constant scrutiny by cameras and reporters. Students have had to answer for things that they've had no control over, and yet there was life underneath it all. But finally, it seems that underlying hope has been squeezed out.
For the student body, there's never been defeat like this. For many, this season was over even before the schedule was announced.
Fortunately, Xavier students
know a thing or two about self-fulfilling prophecies. You get out what you put in - that spirit and vigor defines who we are and what we do.
For this team to truly die, there must be a proclamation of death, and that third-party responsibility
belongs to the student body. That's right: we, and not anybody else, control Xavier basketball's fate. If you think about it, this season is really about us.
To me, Xavier basketball is the perfect extension of the Xavier community. Anyone who's ever been in Cintas Center during a game would agree that there's an intangible - and yet somehow fully graspable - spirit and energy that takes hold of you as soon as you walk in. And anyone who has walked on the Greenspace (Xavier Yard), achieved in the classroom or gotten involved in clubs or activities
will tell you that the same spirit found at games already existed
outside of Cintas. It is merely an extension of the Xavier way of life: you get out what you put in.
A Xavier student's career, on the whole, will not necessarily be marked by his or her achievements,
but rather by experiences. The same applies to basketball. The times you enjoy Xavier the most spring from what you put into them: doing service work or simply spending time with friends can be special, but the choice to do so is the foundation of your experience.
Likewise, basketball games are more than players on a court - the euphoria or sadness from a big game or the fun of camping out for the Crosstown Classic is what will stay with you and ultimately was your choice.
Sure, Chris Mack has to decide
how to manage his team, and the university has to learn how to move on from here. But for us, the routine should stay the same: breathe energy and enthusiasm into this program.
I'll end this piece with an anecdote.
In 1958, the No. 12 seeded Xavier Musketeers defeated heavily
favored No. 1 seeded Dayton in the NIT championship game. The catch? The Musketeers started
the season 10-1 but ended up losing 8 of 12 and 7 of its last 8 games after star player Cornelius Freeman was declared academically
ineligible halfway through the season. Everybody said they shouldn't have even made it to the tournament.
The moral of the story? There's more to Xavier basketball than just X's and O's.

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