There’s a lot to celebrate about Montana State University intercollegiate athletics these days. And it’s not just because the Bobcats are hosting the Austin Peay Governors in a Football Championship Subdivision quarterfinal game this evening – the first time in seven years.

‘Cats athletics is enjoying a lot of success in different programs and on different levels.

A total of 33 MSU athletes were recognized by the Big Sky Conference on All-Academic teams in fall sports. Fifteen football players earned the honors for their classroom success, along with five men’s cross-country runners, six on the women’s cross-country team and seven volleyball players.

In addition, the men’s ski and women’s tennis teams were recognized by the NCAA nationally for scoring in the top 10% of their sports on academic progress.

Intercollegiate sports were started as a way to engage students outside the classroom and engender school spirit. But as time went by, they morphed into a big business – a form of lucrative entertainment for the outside community. In recent decades that has resulted in numerous scandals – violations of NCAA scholastic and recruiting rules – that have stained the reputation of college sports everywhere. And MSU has not been an exception. Arrests for felonies – even violent crime – have plagued MSU players and staff in the past.

But MSU administrators, coaches and players have turned things around. And sports programs have now deservedly earned kudos for their academic success and emphasis on community involvement. Now, athletes achieve higher average grade point averages as well as graduation and retention rates than the general student population

All involved are to be highly commended for these successes. Sports have a place in the college experience for the students and the surrounding community. MSU ranks near the top for attendance among all FCS football programs nationally. And those who attend have been rewarded with some exciting, high-level performances on the field.

The ‘Cats could use some support this evening in their quest to continue to the FCS semifinals for the first time since they won a national championship in 1984. All who can are encouraged to get to Bobcat Stadium to cheer them on.

Go ‘Cats.

Editorial Board

  • Mark Dobie, publisher
  • Nick Ehli, managing editor
  • Bill Wilke, opinion page editor
  • Richard Broome, community member
  • Renee Gavin, community member
  • Will Swearingen, community member
  • Angie Wasia, community member

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