US’s Newest Club: The Sports Debate Club

Seth Melamed '20

University School offers many clubs, each with their own unique identities. Some clubs promote diversity and equity in the community, such as the L’Chaim Society, the Pembrooke Society, and FOCUS. Others bring students together in order to give back to the community, such as the Aurelian Society and the LoPresti Philanthropic Board. A select few clubs exist for the sole purpose of making our college applications that much more interesting, such as the US News (Sorry, Arnold). The Sports Debate Club, however, does not fall in any of the above-mentioned categories.

A spinoff of the popular Society of Skeptics (SOS), Sports Debate Club functions much like the SOS except that their topics pertain to issues of the utmost importance: namely, sports. This year, the Sports Debate Club has held two discussions, matching their total from last year. Fortunately, Nate Mayor hopes to make sure the club can meet on a more regular basis than last year.

The first discussion of the year, which pertained to Colin Kaepernick, was a good example of a robust Sports Debate Club discussion. Many students came to vigorously defend their positions. While some argued that Kaepernick is simply not good enough to play in the NFL, others posited that his talent is not sufficient to make up for the commotion he would cause. Most of the room agreed that Kaepernick no longer was a top-tier NFL quarterback that many considered him early in his career. However, many others argued that the fact that he has taken a stand on civil rights for African-Americans should not deter teams from signing him, claiming that he should be judged based off his talent alone. The discussion then shifted to talking about the Nike campaign involving Kaepernick.

Two weeks ago the members of the Sports Debate Club asked a different question: is Duke the best team in college basketball, and do they possess the three best players in college basketball (Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett and Cam Reddish)? Prior to their loss to Gonzaga, it was hard for people to deny that Duke looked like the best team in the country following their rout of basketball powerhouse Kentucky. The topics in this meeting reflected a typical discussion on sports. Over time, it shifted to debating who should be the number one pick in the draft, as there is a strong possibility the Cavs will have it. Many of the members claimed that their selection for a player was the best with a lack of evidence, directing attacks at their opponents’ physical appearance (sound familiar?). Some of these claims included that Zion Williamson, standing at 6’7 and 285 pounds, is not big enough for the NBA.

While the Sports Debate Club may not get you into Harvard, it is a fun place to spend a lunch period. The discussions are fun to listen to, and the club provides free pizza. If you have the chance, I would recommend checking out the club’s next meeting.