Occidental ousts Senior homecoming game

Bryson Sanders

The Occidental game this year was supposed to be the biggest game of my college football career. With that said, the news of Occidental (also known as Oxy) cancelling the rest of their 2017 season is devastating to us seniors. This was our Senior Night, Homecoming, and The Shoes game — all of our “special” games on the schedule were consolidated into one. This makes it sting much more that we will not be able to play. I think Oxy’s decision to “cancel” their season is embarrassing. I say this because, as an NCAA program, this is never supposed to happen. It truly is a horrible reflection of their college, the whole SCIAC conference, and the NCAA in general. However, I do feel for the players over at Oxy.  I have a couple friends on their team, and I know they wanted to play the game this week just as badly as us. It is my understanding that they are having huge administration problems and have poorly managed their athletics programs over the past year, and I could not imagine my senior year being ended like that. 

Regarding The Shoes trophy, we are getting it back from Oxy. Speaking for our team here at Whittier, it does not feel right to have The Shoes simply given to us by default. As competitors, we would have much rather played to earn the trophy, so it is not being treated as an accomplishment. It will feel good to finally have The Shoes in our possession, but there will always be a sour taste in our mouths, given the circumstances. 

What is most upsetting through all of this is that the excuse for cancelling their season was injuries. In 2015, we had just as many injuries and still finished our season — including the Oxy game where they crushed us! It would have only been right for them to make it work just as we did in order to return the favor. If you ask me, they were looking for a way out in the midst of all of their issues this season. It is just unfortunate that we had to be affected by their mismanagement. Homecoming will not be the same without a football game, and, quite frankly, football players will most likely not be participating in any of the homecoming events. I just hope it does not affect the remaining two games on our schedule as we wrap up the season.