Throughout Bradley’s history, sports have come and sports have gone. A sport seen on campus 20 years ago may not be around anymore, but that doesn’t mean it can’t come back. In a constantly changing college sports landscape, we asked a couple of our writers what sport they would like to see come to the Hilltop.
Surge of lacrosse: Why Bradley should embrace the trend
By Gabriel Holowka
Bradley has a golden opportunity to capitalize on introducing a sport that would strengthen its athletic program, reputation and financial standing.
Lacrosse has no indications of decreasing in popularity any time soon. The sport’s combination of athleticism, teamwork and talent has taken the world by storm. If Bradley can capitalize on the growing appeal of lacrosse by bringing it to campus, it will be capable of recruiting a reinvigorated era of student-athletes ready to represent the Braves on the field.
By bringing lacrosse to Bradley, there is potential to benefit the school’s financial situation. Since lacrosse is a high-profile sport in America, there are many ways for the school to attract sponsorships and contributions from the community.
The university can also utilize the sport’s popularity to recruit talented athletes to play for the school, which would result in large crowds for the games. Not only could this improve Bradley’s financial circumstances with ticket sales, but it could also intensify students’ sense of pride and school spirit. Further, Bradley could host and/or sponsor multiple lacrosse competitions and activities to develop the game and get their name out there.
If Bradley brought lacrosse to campus, it would show that it’s an innovative university that is ready to adopt trends and accommodate the changing interests of students and athletes.
Bring back football!
By Mark Wagner
Most Bradley students and alumni probably know that there used to be a Braves football team. But, should it make a comeback?
First, let’s reflect on the past.
The university began playing football in 1897. This was back when William McKinley was president and a dollar had a lot more purchasing power than it does today.
Overall, the team was a decent success. The Braves, known as the Indians until the 1930s, had an all-time record of 308 wins, 240 losses and 32 ties. That’s a win percentage of about 55.9%. They only won six conference titles in 74 years of playing.
In 1949, the Braves joined the Missouri Valley Conference. Not much is known about the team afterward, but they left the conference in 1951 and eventually dissolved in 1970.
There happens to be a lot of history in Bradley’s football organization. Fifteen graduates from 1939 to 1965 went on to play in the National Football League (NFL). In fact, former Indianapolis Colt, Marcus Pollard, attended Bradley and went to the NFL in 1995. The Braves’ football legacy still carries on, but once again, the question is: should it come back?
Bradley currently offers club flag football which could be a starting point for something bigger if the sport was revived. Football is a big sport in America and having it on campus could be very beneficial for not just the university, but also the city of Peoria.
Although it’s unlikely to return, it would be cool to see football on Bradley’s campus again.