With Open Arms

One of the great collegiate runners of all-time, Arkansas graduate Alistair Cragg, has joined the Brown coaching staff to tutor the Bear distance crew.

A three-time Irish Olympian, Cragg was a 13-time All-American and seven-time NCAA Champion with the Razorbacks. He was a two-time SEC Male Athlete of the Year and competed in Athens, Beijing and London.

Cragg, who grew up in South Africa before taking Irish citizenship, would likely have not been met with favor from Ben Lindaman, a junior decathlete at Northern Iowa University. For reasons I can’t begin to comprehend, Ben decided to write a prejudicial missive of some length to attack foreign athletes on U.S. campuses for Track & Field News.

Seems like Ben is taken aback when people from outside the U.S. come to our country for college and, in the meanwhile, perform well athletically. He has taken some anecdotes to question the inclusion of foreign-born athletes. He also offers capping solutions to “combat this problem” of foreign athletes keeping Walter Henning from winning three national championships. Also, without any citation, he adds that losing to foreign athletes creates “psychological destruction” of U.S. athletes.

I don’t know, Ben, many of us believe that a diverse population on a campus helps weave a rich tapestry which makes college students evolve into wiser and more dynamic citizens. And we value the contributions made on the Ivy League campus by people like Wendell Mottley, Steve Mahooka, Chris Ohiri, Dora Gyorffy, Chris Lambert, Kwaku Ohene-Frempong, Susan Smith, Damon McLean and Julia Ratcliffe.

Maybe you should get out of Iowa sometime.

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