By Colin Dunlap | 6:28 p.m. Monday
There has been a little bit of talk about the Damian Saunders steal and dunk that came at the end of the Saint Louis game.
A loyal DukesBlog reader, avgargano, sent me the following that I felt compelled to post on here:
I would like to respond to a reply by a fellow blogger directed my way
after I criticized Damian Saunders for stealing the ball and dunking
with less than five seconds remaining on the clock during the St. Louis
game. The blogger stated:
"Lighten up, Avgargano. Who the hell are you to criticize him for this?"
That is a very fair question, and one that I think I have a very good answer to. Aside from being a die-hard Duquesne basketball fan, I am, more importantly, a graduate of Duquesne University. I am someone who puts a great deal of pride into the fact that I attended Duquesne and understand that I, as much as the athletes who are on the court, represent the University and everything it stands for. Duquesne has never (and will never) be about showing up its opponents or putting oneself ahead of others.
It is quite clear that St. Louis supporters took notice of what happened and thought negatively by it (note the seven pages of responses to the subject on the Billikens.com message board). Of course, not everyone thought the play was in wrong judgment, but the majority certainly did. I ask you? Is this how you want Duquesne University and its athletic program to be viewed? I, for one, certainly do not.
I represent Duquesne University at college fairs across the East Coast and I certainly don't think that is the reputation I would like to uphold. Was this game seen nationally on television? No. Did the dunk make Sportscenter with a description of the game situation - absolutely not. However, that does not mean it went unnoticed. Unfortunately, we live in a society that has glamorized dunking and ignored sportsmanship.
I've met Damian several times and know that he is not a selfish, "me first" individual. That does not mean, though, that a mistake in poor judgment (in my opinion) should be swept under the carpet. I am not chastising a college student for making a mistake; I am pointing out that he and his teammates should learn from his example and not let it happen again. In my opinion, Damian made a mistake - we all do.
He has done a great job representing the Dukes during his three years on campus, and I'm certainly glad to have him wearing "Duquesne" across his chest.
Blogs are a place for people to express their opinions...and that I did. Just like you have every right to criticize me for my opinion, I have the right to criticize his decision.