Students attend the University of Dallas to receive a high-quality education, one that values the role of academics and employs teachers to reinforce that attitude. This semester, Dr. Jonathan Sanford, dean of the Constantin College, has gathered together some fellow faculty and staff members to “school” some students in another way — on the basketball court. After a prodigious stint in intramural basketball with the faculty and staff at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, Dr. Sanford has brought his skills in the paint to the students of UD.
The faculty and staff team is defiantly named “Not Dead Yet,” and not only are they ‘not dead’ — they’re also not defeated.
“We’re 2-0,” Dr. Sanford said with a smile on his face. “You wanted to talk about intramurals, no? Well, it’s a nice way to be involved with the students and model good sportsmanship.”
Aiding Dr. Sanford in this endeavor to enlighten students in athletic excellence are Senior Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services Dr. John Plotts, Dr. Charles Eaker, Dr. Ron Rhombs, Dr. Christopher J. Wolfe, cross country/track head coach Matt Barber, Mr. Nathan Yacovissi, Mr. Jeffrey Taylor and the ever-involved Fr. Thomas Esposito.
“I have always enjoyed intramurals as an opportunity for students to see another side of the faculty and staff,” Sanford said. “And if we can win, then it’s just icing on the cake. We won maybe seven of the 13 years I played in Steubenville, but this is about Dallas.”
Although Sanford may have the desire to win, his true reasons for playing are far nobler.
“It is a chance to get out there and make an appearance, to interact with the students in extracurricular activities,” Sanford said. “I like to stay balanced and I find that it is important that even as I get older I can still be involved in youthful activities. Sometimes we can have the problem of focusing only on the mind at school, when man should develop mind, body and soul together.”
The veteran squad’s youthful swagger shines through in the attitude of their leader.
“It can be tough for the students,” Sanford said in regards to the age gap with students. “One team began the game with a cheer ‘Beat the old guys.’ We smoked ’em.”
Sanford would not make any predictions about the rest of the season, but mentioned several times that the team was still 2-0. Students’ next opportunity to see the professors and staff play will be on Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 8:30 p.m., when Not Dead Yet will assuredly give students an education in sports as excellent as the schooling they receive in class.