Hey Don’t Forget About Intramurals
In the seventies, it was not only the varsity sports that would make huge strides at the time, as it would also be a huge time for intramurals. Intramurals had always been a big part of the sports culture, and with an interview with John Doe, he believed some of the top teams in the top division could easily compete with many of the varsity athletes, and more than likely beat some of the local colleges (Doe). The fact is though, until the varsity athletes were fully established for Madison College, intramurals was the only option for men if they wanted to play sports, which came to be quite the impressive league, and got to the point that something formal and official was needed. There were of course championships already at this point, but the coordinator for intramurals was also the varsity baseball coach, and there was not enough focus on the intramural leagues (“Replaces Babcock”). This would fit into the theme where a more formal athletics program was being formed, even though this was something that would not be at the varsity level.
As his parting words in the Breeze, the student who had covered intramurals for two years, made sure his opinion was heard on what should be done (Lockard). He called for a full time student director of intramurals, as well as other students to help assist that coordinator, as well as a committee to review what is going on with the leagues to make sure everything is operating the way it should be (Lockard). With that, he also called for officials that would be held to the highest standards, that not only had to take a written exam to make sure that they understood the rules, but he also felt that these officials should not ref in games that they were also a part of that league (Lockard). He did feel like the officials should get paid, but more than anything he wanted to have unbiased officials who brought the league to its highest potential (Lockard). This writer thought the league could be great, but at the time was being restricted and kept away from the potential of an amazing league, and was obviously passionate about the idea of having a formal league.
Whether it was due to what the Breeze writer wrote or not, but the following year, Madison College took the first steps informing the formal program that he called for. President Carrier would hire George Toliver as the director of intramurals, completely taking Coach Babcock out of the role, and giving someone who dedicates their time to the program (“Replaces Babcock”). John Doe had also said that George was someone that was very involved in the program already, and would continue to play in it, actually saying that he was a part of one of the most hated teams due to their excellence (Doe). The source would go on to say that intramurals really did go onto to really strive from there on, and for many of the game he can remember there being a couple hundred people for many of the playoff games, and Godwin Hall being completely filled for the championship games (Doe). The officiating was apparently never perfect, which is not surprising, but the intramurals program really did get to a point where it exceeded expectations, and George Tolliver did everything that was expected of him. Mr. Tolliver would continue this as his career as he is the Director of officiating of D-League officials for the NBA, as well as officiated many worldwide contests, and is also the father of Kristi Toliver who won the championship in women’s basketball with the University of Maryland (NBA D-League).
Chuck Lockard, “Program Needs Change,” The Breeze, April 30, 1974.
John Doe, interview by author, James Madison University, April 17, 2013. (Informant’s identity withheld at his request)
Morgan, ” Ashby- The 1973 Intramural Football Champions,” The Breeze, October 23, 1973.
NBA D-League, “NBA Development League Referee Tryout Camp: George Toliver Bio,” NBA, http://www.nba.com/dleague/predraftcamp/bio_george_toliver.html (accessed April 30, 2013).
“Replaces Babcock: Toliver to Head ’75 Intramurals,” The Breeze, September 5, 1975.