Keith’s Korner: A Little Help Please!

Greyhound football players take the field

By J.T. Keith

Recently, the Student Success newspaper article was extolling the success Eastern New Mexico University. My first reaction is and was congratulations. The Bible says to give honor where honor is due.

In the past ten years, enrollment has risen from 3,583 to 5,080. The university has added Majors in seven academic programs. It has secured $40 million in campus construction, and faculty salaries have increased above the state appropriated amount in three years.

However, our football team continues to be a negative contrast to all of the positives mentioned. There needs to be checks and balances set up to help this football program win and become elite.

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ENMU football is an embarrassment in Division II football. All of our opponents check off a win when the schedule is made out. No longer is it enough to have a football program and to field a team, now is the time to win.

Vince Lombardi once said “Winning is a habit and unfortunately so is losing.”

Our football team is headed for a seventh straight losing season. We need the administration to commit more time and resources of the University into making us a power in Division II sports, or abolish the program.

Alumni, students, and people of Portales, deserve better than the product that is being put out on the field. It would be easier to raise money if our football program was something all could be proud of. Where is your letter to our sports teams supporting them and wishing them well Dr. Gamble?

Support would mean an appropriate athletic budget to compete with teams in our conference. Abilene Christian has a football budget of $ 1.6 million dollars. West Texas A&M is $900,000. Ours is somewhere in the $300,000 range. C’mon, no one can compete under those circumstances. How determined are we to make this a first class university in every way?

Hire outside consultants to bring us up to the level we need to compete.

ENMU is the laughingstock of Division II football.As ENMU blew a 28 point lead, fans begin to rumble, words from Alumni, and the citizen of Portales voiced concern about Coach Ribaudo. He is set up to fail by not being provided the necessary tools, and facilities to be competitive.

Some of the players Eastern is recruiting have better facilities in their high school than we have. It would be nice if the coaches could pick and choose the athletes they wanted. Rather than having to offer marginal athletes a partial scholarship, in hopes that the athlete will develop into a good player in three to four years. Make no mistake about it talent wins football games. A coach can take a few athletes that are marginal once in a while, but you cannot have a roster full of developmental athletes.

The only thing known about coach Ribaudo is that he is universally loved and respected. All who come into contact with him think he’s a good guy.

Bottom line is we need to find out if Ribaudo is a good Head Coach? I am not in favor of firing, Ribaudo. Give him something to work with!

Why can’t the memebers of the administration see that our coach and football team need their support?

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