Petition to save WVU Rifle Team


April 22, 2003, 02:13 PM
Here's the petition mentioned in the article:
While I'm ashamed to say it appears to be authored by a west virginian, don't imputer his lack of grammar and logic to the rest of us. But please sign, it's still a good cause.

A drive to resurrect West Virginia University's rifle team has expanded into cyberspace.

Supporters of the program have set up an Internet petition drive to try to convince WVU officials to reinstate the rifle program they cut last week from the school's athletic budget.

The petition, set up through the Web site, had accumulated nearly 1,900 signatures from supporters nationwide as of today. Another petition at the site pushing for the reinstitution of WVU's men's cross country, track and tennis teams -- as well as the rifle team -- had garnered nearly 850 signatures today.

Some of the signers of the rifle petition include current and former WVU shooters, as well as a sampling of top names from shooting-sports disciplines throughout the country. Many of the signers identify themselves as current and former WVU students or concerned West Virginia residents.

The Web site allows signers to attach comments to their signatures. Many comments included impassioned pleas to reinstate the team.

"Your team is the best of the best," wrote former U.S. Shooting Team member Gwendolyn Fox. "I don't understand how you could consider cutting a program that has won 13 NCAA championships and six second-places since 1980. To shooters, WVU is the gold standard against which all are measured."

Martin Edmonson, manager of youth development for USA Shooting, said the loss of the Mountaineer rifle tradition will be a blow to the nation's future hopes in international competition.

"We depend on programs like yours for the Olympians of tomorrow," Edmonson wrote. "You have an incredible history of leadership in the rifle sports."

Lt. Cmdr. Web Wright Jr., father of four-time WVU All-America Web Wright III, called the cuts "incredible."

"The football team has certainly not had the international reputation of the rifle team," he wrote. "For the comparative stipend required (to support) the rifle team, this would be a grave blow to the reputation of West Virginia."

"Please don't make the mistake Dayton made by dropping your team," wrote Robert "Luke" Lukavic, a Dayton team member from 1966 to 1970. "WVU always had a great team. We looked forward to every match with them."

"The WVU team has been the most successful in the history of collegiate shooting," wrote Josh Kelley, a four-year member of the U.S. Naval Academy rifle team. "I have competed against WVU and think it would be a tragedy if the program were to be cut."

"The loss from cutting the team is significantly larger than the $160,000 you save," wrote Joacim Trybon, a 1998 All-America at WVU rifle rival Alaska-Fairbanks. "You are cutting a long tradition of world-class athletes."

A few of the comments questioned whether an anti-firearms agenda might have fueled the cuts.

"The administrators have caved into PC (political correctness) pressure," wrote one petitioner.

"We are once again faced with another example of administrators who are only looking out for their own interests instead of the students'."

One of the more acerbic comments came from a man who couldn't understand why, at a time when federal Title IX regulations are encouraging gender equity, WVU officials would cut the only NCAA sport in which men and women compete head-to-head.

"Odd that a sport in which males and females compete on an equal footing should fall victim to Title IX," the man wrote. "Equality, sacrificed for the illusion of equality."

Elvis Green, former rifle coach at rival Murray State University, suggested that WVU officials poll other schools before making final the decision to cut the rifle squad.

"If you had a vote from all universities, I feel they would feel the team should remain a part of your program," he wrote. "Please reconsider your decision, and reinstate the team."

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April 22, 2003, 02:52 PM
I signed. As a WVU Alum, this sickens me.

Navy joe
April 28, 2003, 06:28 PM
BTT, sign it.

41 Redhawk
April 29, 2003, 10:45 AM
22x9, same here - 1980

April 29, 2003, 04:16 PM
Signed it!

Class of '71

April 29, 2003, 09:39 PM

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