BYU, Navy and Dartmouth, along with several other teams, aren’t making the trip to College Station, Texas to compete in the inaugural College 7s National Championship Friday and Saturday. Army didn’t attempt to qualify.
“I know a lot of people are going to put an asterisk next to (this championship), because some teams haven’t made the trip, etc.,” said Gregg Jones, coach of Kutztown, “but shame on them, I guess.”
Kutztown is one of 24 teams hoping to hoist the national championship trophy Saturday night. That trophy, at the end of the day, will have the words National Champion scrawled on it, and that means something, no matter what teams opted not to vie for it.
“If we’re lucky enough to win, it would be the first national championship won in the history of our college by any sport,” Jones said.
“The reaction from our university just in winning the Pacific 7s tournament, which was primarily the Pac-12 teams, on campus drew a really big response,” said Colorado coach Jim Snyder, “and the school was very proud of us and our administration, so to win a national championship in an Olympic sport, it’d be unbelievable.”
In addition to great pride, validation and beaming smiles, Jones, Snyder and other coaches are hoping a national championship will produce a chance for their programs grow in terms of support on campus.
“We get tremendous cooperation from our school, but it would just open up even more doors, I’m sure, especially with the alumni foundation, sports information director, all those people have jumped board and they’ve been helping us and the local media, etc,” said Jones. “It would just validate everything we’re telling them we are, I guess.”
“It would be a major boost for the program on campus and the things we’re trying to do and strengthen,” said Snyder, “and for the players, you don’t get too many shots at winning a national title, so it’d be really special.”