Football Players Spread Aggie Spirit
- By Laura Hays for OPSU Sports on 2/20/08
Goodwell, Okla. -- Strange things have been seen on the campus of Oklahoma Panhandle State University lately. In an effort to keep members of the football team engaged during the off season, Head Coach Mike Wyatt challenged his OPSU Strength and Conditioning Coach, Marc Wilson, to devise a plan to have players compete on a variety of fronts while rewarding positive behavior.
Wilson divided the team into four groups generally according to playing position. He then handed them a list about how they can obtain points for their team. The list includes measurable items such as attendance and participation in classes, workouts, study halls and at campus events in addition to earning grades of 90% or above on tests and class assignments; community service project participation; and Football Trivia Night scores.
The four teams are Roughnecks, Outlaws, Wranglers and Bandits. By NCAA rule, each group has one day off per week that varies from group to group.
Wyatt said, “I’d like to say that this was an original idea, but I heard the University of Kansas did this and we contacted them for ideas. They felt like it was a big part of their success in 2007, and now that we have incorporated into our program, it seems to be working fine.”
So, what’s strange? Students, faculty and staff have commented they have seen a dump truck full of football players being pushed around campus. In fact, once when the truck was headed up a slight incline, four men struggled but could not get the job done, so several buddies jumped out of the back and helped get it to the top. In addition, players have been seen pushing, not rolling, tractor tires around campus. The most visible result of the program has been the teams’ appearance at the recent basketball games, where they cheer on other student athletes.
OPSU President Dave Bryant has high praise for the program, and said, “It is a creative way to build on a great program and keep students involved in their sport. Coach Wyatt and his coaching staff continue to prove their leadership through inspired ideas.”