As a Colorado native it’s a little strange that I never really attached myself to one of the local universities. If anything I can remember cheering for Air Force a little on the side but other then that growing up I watched whoever was on and checked the scores in the Sunday morning Rocky Mountain News. So although I have Colorado ties it has been an interesting assignment hosting the Summit Black and Gold show every week. My co-hosts Charles Johnson and Joel Klatt are both former CU quarterbacks and CU grads so I am truly the only unbiased person on the panel. However, as of late I find myself really cheering for the Buffs. As a reporter it’s very easy to look at the Buffs and see that things haven’t been going so great down in Boulder for some time. With that knowledge it’s easy to poke fun and be critical. However, as a former college athlete my view is completely different and I have complete empathy for the seniors in black and gold. For my 4 years at North Carolina I was blessed to have played on teams that were at least in the mix when it came to the ACC title and my senior year we won the regular season title. My team was also in the NCAA tournament 2 out of my 4 years and we played in the NIT my freshman season. That freshman year really sticks out to me though because it reminds me a little of what appears to be going on at CU. Week after week you hear the CU players and coaches talking about a lack of effort, passion and execution. I know how hard it is just to get 6-10 players on the same page let alone 30-40. My freshman season it was a tale of two different teams; those gals who were truly dedicated to what was going on in the gym and those that were more interested in what was going on outside of the gym. Sometimes we would lose and seconds after some of my teammates would be planning where they were going out after. When we were invited to the NIT at the end of the season there were a handful of gals who didn’t even want to go. Ridiculous.
Now, CU is definitely dealing with a lack of personnel in addition to several injuries this season, but besides all of that a team cannot win when players simply don’t care. My favorite quote this season came from Northern Colorado Head Coach Ernest Collins Jr, “The only way I know how to fix this problem is recruiting,” said Coach Collins. That’s what solved the issues with North Carolina volleyball. Year after year my coach simply started recruiting a different type of girl. Now don’t get me wrong we had loads of fun outside the gym, but when it was time to go to work… well you know the rest.
One person whose passion is not in question is Head Coach Jon Embree and I am truly looking forward to seeing the players he recruits to Boulder in the coming years. As for the players who are out there busting their tails week in and week out, it may not seem like it now but what you are doing is worth the effort despite the outcome. Only one game left for the Buffs this year and for the senior’s sake I hope everyone can come together and make it count. And sincerely…GO BUFFS!