IBJOpinion

VIEWPOINT: Much has changed for Butler since 1980

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

In 1980, Butler University, the then-even-smaller liberal arts school (enrollment of about 2,000 students), hired a student as its sports information director (that student was Chuck Weisenbach, now principal at Roncalli High School).

This nearly pre-dates the Indianapolis “amateur sports capitol” initiative that changed the city forever. Market Square Arena hosted the “NCAA ‘80” (as is printed on the event poster), and the Butler men’s basketball team finished 12-15 for the 1979-’80 season.

Mediocrity in the athletic department was tolerated by the administration, winning wasn’t a priority and Tony Hinkle’s five principles—humility, passion, unity, servanthood and thankfulness—had not been adopted as “The Butler Way.”

Fast forward to 2010 and Butler University (enrollment 4,700) will co-host the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship (now globally branded as the “Final Four”), and play in it, too!

Yes, for the first time in school history and first time since 1972, a participating team will play the Final Four in their hometown. Butler will travel south on Meridian Street to Lucas Oil Stadium for the right to become the smallest school to win the coveted title.  

This achievement is remarkable, historical and inspiring. Who—other than fans Duke, Michigan State or West Virginia—can help but cheer for the Bulldogs?

While some claim to have predicted after last season that Butler would do what they ultimately did by advancing to Indianapolis for the Final Four, far more people across the country had never heard of the school, let alone star Gordon Hayward.

Needless to say, that’s all changed.

Something special is going on at 49th Street and Boulevard Place:

—Starting sophomore point guard Ronald Norad (freshman class president) using the word “love” last week when describing the relationship with his teammates;  

—His class and backcourt mate Shelvin Mack was captain of the gold medal 2009 under 19 FIBA Championship team;

—Sophomore Hayward (also on the U:19 team) and senior center Matt Howard were named to the 2010 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American Team. (Note: Butler is the only school to have two players on the honor squad);

—And, Butler fans will forever remember senior Willie Veasley’s “good bounce” of all “good bounces” on a 3-pointer and the later tip-in to score five of his 13 points in the closing minutes of Butler’s win over No. 1 seeded Syracuse.

That’s this year’s starting five. Their predecessors laid the foundation, established the standards and mentored the incoming classes, Despite three coaches since 2000, Butler reached the Sweet 16 for the third time in eight years, as they say, “one possession at a time.”

Some describe this year’s success as “the college version of ‘Hoosiers’” and others may hang the “Miracle on 49th Street” tag. The players themselves are the least surprised by their success; however, they don’t have the “we deserve this” mindset. They’re all business until the horn sounds.

And, did you see the chest bump by Coach Stevens after the win over Kansas State?

Many right here in our own city have forgotten that Indianapolis hosted the 1980 NCAA men’s basketball championship. But few fans will ever forget the character, teamwork, unselfishness, and poise that Coach Stevens and the Dawgs have demonstrated this season and even more so during the last two weeks under the national spotlight.    

Will Monday, April 5, 2010 be remembered as even more amazing?
_____

David Morton is a principal with Sunrise Sports Group LLC, an Indianapolis-based sports marketing firm, co-president of the Butler University Central Alumni Chapter and an adjunct professor at Butler University. He can be reached at david@sunrisesportsgroup.com.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • The Butler Way
    Correction: Matt Howard is a junior, unless he's managed to skip a semester while maintaining honors grades and helping to lead the Dawgs to conference and national championships. Tony Hinkle deserves to be cannonized, along with the likes of John Wooden, for developing and promoting The Butler Way.
  • The Butler Way
    The Butler Way holds promise not just for a basketball team or university but for the things that are important in life. Whether you apply Tony Hinkle's principles to your personal or business life, you will lead life that is pleasing and fulfilling to yourself and your creator.

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Hello Dear Are you tired of Seeking Loans and Mortgages,have you Been Turned down constantly By your banks and Other Financial Institutions or Micro Finance scheme. This is let you know with 100% guarantee that we Offer loans ranging from $1,000 Minimum to $1,000,000.00 Maximum at 3% interest rate per Month. We give out LOANS for developing business. a competitive edge/business expansion. email address: michealscottloan124@gmail.com We offer the following kinds of loans and many more; * Personal Loans ( Unsecured Loan) * Business Loans ( Unsecured Loan) * Consolidation Loan * Combination Loan * Home Improvement * Xmas Loans for contact to seek for loan email this email address: michealscottloan124@gmail.com Thanks

  2. My name is Mr Henry Josh and i live in the USA California and life is worth living right now for me and my family and all this is because of one man sent by GOD to help me and my family, i once had a life filled with sorrow because my first SON needed a kidney transplant and all our savings were going towards his medications and this normally leaves us with no money to pay our bills or even put enough food on our table and our rent was due and no funds to pay these bills and life felt so unfair to me and every night my wife will cry herself to sleep every night until one day, i was browsing through yahoo answers and i saw a striking advert of a man that gives out personal loans and that the offer is opened to all and i have heard so many things about internet scams but at this point of my life, i was very desperate and ready to take any risk and at the end of the day, i applied for this loan and from one step to another, i got my loan within 12 hours through bank transfer and you know, it was all like a dream and i called Mr Daniel Jones A Man who is the GOD sent lender i found and said, i have received my loan and he smiled stating that to GOD be the glory and i was so shocked as i have never ever seen anyone with such a GOD fearing and kind heart and today, i am the happiest man on earth because by GOD’S grace, my SON kidney transplant was successful and today he is healthy, i and my family are living very comfortable and happy and if you are in my former situation or in serious and legitimate need of a loan, you can reach this GOD sent lender via fidelityloanfirm@outlook.com

  3. Greetings to everyone reading this comment!!! I am Greg William by name. I am out here to recommend the effort of Mark Oscar,I was in need of a consolidation loan amount of 50,000 and as soon as I got in contact with Mark Oscar Loan Firm on Wednesday last week and on Friday last week as well I receive an alert from my bank(Royal Bank of Scotland Group) that the fund was transferred,I want everybody on this site to contact Mark Oscar now via email on how to get a loan because I got my loan from them and I am very happy,so contact them now. Oscarloanfinance@hotmail.com Thanks!!!!!!

  4. Elected officials, like Mourdock, get vested in 8 years. It takes 10 years for all other public employees, most of whom make a lot less money. So much for the promise to finish out his term.

  5. Great state treasurer and a good man!! Just curious if the folks who didn't quite understand his quote would like to tell my daughter-in-law that God didn't intend her! Mourdock's comment was correct but twisted and the article didn't mention that his opponent and the press let the impression stand that Mourdock meant that the rape was intended. Stupid people!!

ADVERTISEMENT