Marvin the Man
I may be reading into the situation too deeply, but I think that the inauguration of Oberlin’s fourteenth president, Marvin Krislov, taking place in the Heisman Field House is no coincidence. Rather, it is a sign that Oberlin Athletics, of all shapes and sizes, varsity and club, can expect good things out of the man from Michigan.
How do I come to a conclusion that Krislov will be beneficial to athletics, you may ask? After all, he has only been on campus for half a semester, right?
Yet his few important actions within this short time have already made me rank him as more influential in sports than Nancy Dye was during my time here at Oberlin. The only time I ever closely related her to athletics was when I received a letter, with what I believed was a forged signature, congratulating the soccer team for making it to the conference tournament for the first time in school sport history. That was it, just one letter.
First off, Krislov hails from the University of Michigan, where Division I athletics consume campus life. The Wolverine football team may not be the most well-liked in Ohio, but they are usually considered a national powerhouse.
Two specific things that Krislov has done for athletics stand out in my mind. On September 25, the men’s soccer team played Ohio Wesleyan at home. Not only were the Yeomen playing the league champions, but it was also the day of the field dedication to Fred Shults. Prior to the game, Athletic Director Joe Kaarlgard introduced Shults and his family. Guess who honored Shults afterward? It was none other than Krislov himself, who received a warm welcome from the parents and students as he stood tall, decked out in the maroon Oberlin athletic gear.
So Krislov decides to make a cameo at the unveiling of a two million dollar stadium, big whoop, any president would do that. This may be true, but if a president were not serious about athletics, would he or she intervene in the incendiary issue of club sports after only weeks of discussions?
Since September, club sports representatives have been meeting with groups and individuals, pleading their case for the need of trainers and transportation to games. The meeting with the president was set for after fall break, and the feedback from Krislov has left a great sense of hope for the players.
In an interview with Krislov in the Review, he stated that club sports are an integral part of the College and a healthy lifestyle.
“I’m very focused on it because I think club sports are great. People are trying to do good things that are healthy and we want to support club sports. I think that everyone agrees that club sports should be supported and the question is just ‘how?’” said Krislov.
Krislov pushed for the creation of the Steering Committee to examine the current operating structure of club sports at Oberlin. The committee will look for “long-term answers” that will allow club sports to flourish, while examining issues regarding funding on areas of medical care, transportation and equipment access.
Throw in that his child plays for the Black River Soccer Club, coached by Oberlin men’s soccer coach Blake New. I think Krislov has a deeper love for sports than people initially thought.
As we welcome Krislov into the Oberlin family and history books, I cannot help but feel that the school has made a good decision in its appointment. If Krislov is willing to work this hard to include club sports, I am excited for what the future may hold for the rest of Oberlin athletics.
While only time will tell what will happen, it is nice to know that we have a president who supports us. Welcome to Oberlin, Mr. Krislov — I hope to see you at a soccer game or two in the future.