The rumors are swirling around.
Everyone is looking to someone for any kind of answers - or anything, for that matter. Timeframe, something.
This program at Lock Haven University may be dropped. Another program at LHU may be saved. Those are the rumors circling the campus.
Reassurance. An end to the rumors. A tough decision if one needs to be made.
Just something, instead of everyone sitting around patiently, wondering.
I'm not going to stand on top of Thomas Fieldhouse, a billboard, The Express' office building on Main Street or my car and preach.
Facts, I will present.
How can the adminstration sit in their offices after last weekend without some head scratching going on?
Heck, I even scatched my dome and wondered.
Honestly, if I was sitting in a power chair at LHU, I would have called a special meeting Monday afternoon, and would have locked that office door until viable solutions were found.
My agenda would be very short.
No. 1: Football.
No. 2: Men's Basketball.
No. 3: Adaquete Scholarships for Community Sports.
And we would sit around a round table, square table, no table, plastic crate that milk is brought into the grocery story with and come up with some type of answers.
Because the public wants them. This community derserves them.
If the community sports don't win, then the secondary sports won't get attention.
That's not opinion. That's straight-honest facts.
How do I define community sports? Five of them. Wrestling. Football. Men's and women's basketball. Baseball.
Myself, I would place volleyball with the five. I've been at Lock Haven where the Lady Eagles would pack Thomas Fieldhouse for matches.
Out of the five community sports, I see a future for three.
Robbie Waller's doing a great job with the grapplers. The university should reward him with more monetary funds. This is Mat-Town U.S.A. He should have unlimited resources and the maximum scholarships possible. It doesn't matter if any other sport is maxed out, wrestling should be and needs to be. In the athletic field, that's Lock Haven University's identity around the country. If you are allowed 9.9 scholarships in wrestling, LHU should have 9.9, no questions asked - even if that means you have to rob Peter to pay Paul within the athletic department. Again, Lock Haven is Mat-Town U.S.A.
Do you want Lock Haven to compete with Penn State on the recruiting trail? Then, LHU needs those 9.9 scholarships. That needs to happen, and very soon.
Jennifer Smith, in the same breath, should be given more resources for women's hoops. Her scholarship numbers are disgusting compared to the rest of the PSAC West. Pitful, more like it. And yet, she finds a way to win - thanks in part that she's a great coach and a smart recruiter.
After suffering for years, Smokey Stover finally got money for scholarships, thanks to a booster club, alumni, community support and fundraising. Hence, he brought a very talented class to Lock Haven. Make sure you make your way to Foundation Field in the spring. You're about to see something special over the next few years.
After this weekend, how can the adminstration sit back without addressing football and men's basketball.
For those not keeping accurate count, the gridiron program extended its losing streak to 32 games with a home defeat to Shippensburg last Saturday. Three straight winless seasons and counting.
Put this into perspective.
Lock Haven has the nation's - not just Division II - nation's longest losing streak. Maranatha Baptist Bible College, a Division III school from Watertown, Wisc. had previously held it. The Crusaders, though, beat Rockford, 14-6, last weekend. That ended their 33-game streak.
It's not quite what you would like to be known for.
How long do you wait? Until the Bald Eagles reach the longest losing streak in history; which is Prairie View's 80 straight from 1989 to 1998.
In the last six seasons, football has won five games. Two of them came against a sister institution (Mansfield) that doesn't sponsor Division II football anymore. One is a slim victory over the PSAC East school (Cheyney) that held D2's longest skid until it beat Millersville earlier this season.
Again, for eduational purposes, LHU's last winning season came when I was at the young and tender age of 2. I just celebrated my 31st birthday in July.
Someone e-mailed me Monday afternoon, and said we had the score wrong for the men's basketball game against nationally-ranked West Liberty in the daily edition.
I sent a brief message back. No, 154-48 was correct.
That wasn't a record, though. The largest deficit in college hoops' history, that I researched, was a 201-74 victory by Lincoln College back in the day.
How can you comment about something with so much uncertainity?
After this season, LHU doesn't have a head coach, and loses all of its players that were recruited to play basketball. What you are left with is basically a lame-duck program that's escentially starting with no ingredients in the mixing bowl? No coaching staff. Who knows how many on the roster - if any?
And it doesn't appear, to this reporter anyway, that those two questions are going to be answered anytime soon.
I love football. You know it breaks my heart to say this but I would rather see the university drop it before reaching historic, nationwide levels for losing streaks. I don't want my alma mater to be known as the team with the longest losing streak ever.
If that's the ultimate decision the university agrees to, there is only one way I could ever support a measure like that, though.
If you cut football, you better take all of football's money and divy it up between basketball, wrestling and baseball. If you are going to vote a community sport off the island, you better make sure the other four are alive and well - and are yearly players on the national scene.
Wrestling better have the full allotment of 9.9 scholarships so it could try to compete on the recruiting trail with the bigger Division I's.
Men's and women's basketball needs more to compete with the rigors of the PSAC West in order to advance deep into the postseason.
Baseball is growing in Clinton County. You need to keep it growing at the collegiate level.
If you drop a community sport, and leave the others on the curbside with it, you can forget about town-and-gown relationships.
Because they get dropped along with the sports.
A tough decision, yes it will be.
Hopefully, though, it's the right decision for everyone.
Tom Fox is sports editor at The Express and covers Lock Haven University sports. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.