During my recent downtown visit with my daughter, we had a chance to visit the NCAA Hall of Champions in White River State Park. It’s sort of like a Hall of Fame, interactive display, plus a reminder that there are more college sports than just basketball and football. (I imagine the most frequently uttered statement in the NCAA Hall of Champions is “Huh. I didn’t know that was a recognized sport.”)
We also saw several names we recognized in the Hall of Heroes, including Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Drew Brees, Rebecca Lobo, and several colleges we knew, as well as a few we didn’t. It’s not in the video, but I even saw the name Oganna Nnamani from Stanford — I worked for her dad about 20 years ago, and I met Oganna once when she was a small child. Oganna has gone on to be a powerhouse Olympic volleyball player.
College sports gets a lot of knocks in the news, whenever a big-name football or basketball program has been found to be in violation of some rule or other. But it’s easy to forget that there are tens of thousands of actual student-athletes at the thousands of colleges and universities around the country. And there are dozens of sports that, while you’ve heard of them, you never knew they were actual recognized sports around the US. Like field hockey, skiing, rifle, rowing, and bowling.
If you’re in the Indianapolis area, and you love college sports of any kind, check out the NCAA Hall of Champions.