To the Editor:
I am a proud Williams graduate, Class of ’66, and my wife and I visit campus once or twice a year, usually for reunions or meetings. This past weekend (Oct. 23-24) brought us to Williamstown for the first time as spectators to see our son compete as a freshman for Yale in the New England Water Polo tournament. We have friends among the parents and players on the Williams team, and we anticipated a weekend of fine competition and good fun. Instead, it turned out to be downright ugly, embarrassing to me both as a Williams alumnus and as a Yale parent.
Incident: Another Yale parent, who had made the long drive from Toronto to see his son play, searching on arrival for his son, was told by some of the Williams team, when he asked the location of the Yale locker room, “F— you. Why don’t you get the f— out of Williamstown,” or words close to that, but including the vulgarity at least twice.
Incident: One particular Yale sophomore was singled out by the Williams team (though the two teams never played against one another in the tournament) for a kind of taunting, verbal abuse that we felt went beyond the boundaries of normal partisan rooting. Maybe in these days of TV language that older ears find shocking, one should not be so surprised to hear much the same at a collegiate athletic contest, but directing it for two days towards one individual takes it to an unfortunate personal level.
Incident: This same Yale sophomore, who eventually was thrown out of a game after cursing out one of the refs, responded to the heckling Williams players by mooning, a pathetic, childish, disgusting display.
Alleged: Williams, the organizer of the tournament, manipulated the 35-second shot clock to Yale’s disadvantage in the final game for the championship (Yale vs. Dartmouth).
Alleged: In the same game Williams, which as hosts manned the scorer’s table, provided the refs with false foul counts in order to get certain Yale players ejected.
Maybe the problem was no adult supervision in the form of a coach for either team (water polo is a club sport). Such conduct would not have been tolerated for a minute by a Bob Muir or a Coach Sam. Nonetheless, even without an adult “chaperone,” one would have hoped for more responsible behavior on both sides. As far as Williams is concerned, perhaps the College Council or the administration (or the Record) should step in and try to find out what went wrong in order to avoid more of the same in the future. At times it seemed out of control.
A Highly Disappointed Alumnus,
David P. Tunick ’66