Whenever I think of Virginia sports these days, I think about my brother Bill’s frequent telephone calls regarding the prospects and outcomes for U.Va. athletic events. Although Bill was a big fan of football and men’s basketball, he was interested in many other sports, too.
I am very happy that my brother wanted to keep up with both the teams that generate revenue for U.Va. athletics and the achievements of the teams composed of students who came to U.Va. because their athletic prowess allowed them to pursue academic interests, even though they had little prospect to benefit financially from the contributions to U.Va. sports once they completed their studies. Bill really seemed to enjoy watching young women and men display their savvy and skill on courts and fields, even though they had little or no chance to go to the big leagues, to earn $1,000,000 for their athletic accomplishments after they graduated from school.
Indeed one time while he was visiting, Bill skipped a meeting with the Jefferson debating society (perhaps I should capitalize those words) to stay and watch a wonderful volleyball match. It was a sacrifice for Bill, but I think he enjoyed it. Those who know U.Va. will understand that this very decision—JDS vs. volleyball—reflects substantial commitment.
So I am happy to remember that my brother would be pleased with the high finishes of the women’s soccer team, Catherine White’s accomplishments (though Bill never was a runner), the honor for Simone Asque on the ACC team in volleyball, and many of the other accolades that have been earned by these athletes in the non-revenue sports.
I’d like to have the chance to talk with my elder brother about them, just as I’d like to have the chance to talk with my father (another U.Va. grad) about the coming Dodgers season.