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April 18, 2024

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    “gAyPRIL” (Gay-April) continues on Falcon Radio, sharing a playlist curated by the Queer Trans Student Union, sharing songs celebrating the LGBTQ+ experience. In similar vein, you will enjoy Jeanette Winterson’s books if you find yourself interested in LGBTQ+ voices and nonlinear narratives. As “dead week” is upon us, students, we can utilize resources such as Falcon […]
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    As we enter into the poetics of April, also known as national poetry month, here are four voices from well to lesser known. The Tradition – Jericho Brown Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Brown visited the last American Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP 2024) conference, and I loved his speech and humor. Besides […]
Spring Housing Guide

Rebuilding team and players

Last season Western Michigan opened the season with a win, and then promptly lost 10 in a row. So, you would think the first thing Western Michigan coach Bill Cubit would mention reflecting on the halfway point of the current season would be the team’s improved 3-3 record.

That is not Bill Cubit’s style and those aren’t Bill Cubit’s priorities -‘#160;at least not yet.

“I like our intensity, I like the way we’re doing things as far as academics and community service,” he said.

That may surprise some, but it’s the theme Cubit has been preaching since he was hired.

“Everybody has their offensive goals, their defensive goals, but right now that’s not what we’re looking for,” he said during the’#160;MAC Football Media Day prior to the season. “I’m looking for the kids to do the right job in the classroom, the right job in the community, the right thing in the weight room.”

Cubit had been charged with the task of not only rebuilding a struggling program, but repairing a group of young men’s confidence.

“To hear that some of these kids [do not want] to wear their letter jackets around campus because they’re embarrassed.” Cubit said during the MAC Football Media Day back in August. “My main responsibility, to be perfectly honest with you, is these kids and making them feel good.”

In other words they weren’t only beaten on the field physically, but they were beaten off of it mentally.

It was time to build the program back up.

So he did what any good carpenter would do to a structure that was damaged beyond repair – he ripped out the foundation and built it up again from scratch.

“Our goals are pretty simple – go out there and do the right thing,” Cubit said.

“Everyday I wake up [and] it is a never-ending deal where I say, ‘OK, what can I do to get these kids in a better situation?,'” he said.

He told the team it was an opportunity for a fresh start. There was a new coach, a new staff, some new schemes and a lot of players that were so young they didn’t know they weren’t supposed to do anything except lose this season.

They began by recruiting a lot of talented young freshman heavily, with assurances that they would play early and play often. Then they re-established a solid work ethic. Cubit’s logic was that if they fought hard in the spring, training camp and in practice-and they hadn’t quit by then-they would be able to face any hardship during the regular season.

“We’ve made it so hard and everyday just piling on more,” he said. “We’re going to make it as hard as we possibly can [so] that hopefully, down the line, it is going to be so hard for them to surrender that they won’t do it.”

That was never more evident than after the Broncos’ last game, when they lost a heartbreaker to Ball State 60-57 in five overtimes.

But the team didn’t quit, they held their heads up high.

“After the game, it was a tough, tough loss. I mean it was the toughest one I’ve ever had, but to see how the guys reacted after the game and during a bye week…” Cubit said, marveling at his young team’s resilience.

Cubit knew he had a hard task at hand, but he had seen it done before – like in Bowling Green.

“They got guys that are really dedicated, who didn’t put up with any nonsense, this is how we’re going to do it. This is how it’s going to get done,” he said. “That’s the way Urban did it, and that is what Brandon is doing now.”

So when the Falcons step out onto the field tomorrow maybe they’ll see something familiar – a younger version of themselves.

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