Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

1969 Georgetown University Track Team Incident

Collapse

Unconfigured Ad Widget

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • 1969 Georgetown University Track Team Incident

    I came across an issue of the Georgetown University student newspaper from January 1969 in which there is a long story about how most members of the track team were refusing to train under coach Steve Benedek. It appeared that Steve Stageberg, who was a team captain, was instead holding workouts. The university athletic board then, at least initially, cancelled the indoor and outdoor seasons declaring that only those training with the coach could compete for Georgetown in any meet.

    I'm wondering how the situation was resolved.
    Chicago
    Senior Member
    Last edited by Chicago; 08-23-2021, 10:24 PM.

  • #2
    I don't remember that incident.

    Comment


    • #3
      It was a national story, back in the days when there were actual sports pages...

      Around the time the NCAA allowed financial aid to be cut for "manifest disobedience" by an athlete.

      Comment


      • #4
        Georgetown is a basketball school, do doubt anyone cared at all about the track team.

        Comment


        • #5
          Huh, after all these years where I thought it was a venerable academic institution of higher learning with a successful and well known track and cross country teams.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Alcyallen View Post
            Georgetown is a basketball school, do doubt anyone cared at all about the track team.
            Not at the time of the issue in question.

            John Thompson didn't arrive until 1972ish.

            Comment


            • #7
              From the pages of our gracious hosts:

              Track & Field News, Volume 22, Number 1
              I February 1969

              On Your Marks by Dick Drake

              Georgetown has canceled its track schedule for the remainder of the year. A team usually comprised of distance runners, most of the 22 members of the team sided with distance man Steve Stageberg that coach Steve Benedek's twice-a-day workouts were too strenuous and placed too much emphasis on physical [rather] than mental preparation. Those still training under Benedek may represent the school at invitational meets...
              Track & Field News, Volume 22, Number 5
              I April 1969

              On Your Marks by Dick Drake

              Georgetown has formally suspended track for the outdoor season. The team did not practice regularly during the indoor season, following a dispute with coach Steve Benedek, whose contract will not be renewed come July when it expires. The status of its most prominent star, Steve Stageberg, relative to the NCAA meet is not now known...

              Comment


              • #8
                Some more details from a 1984 Washington Post story:

                His belief in rigorous training once made him a controversial figure. In 1969 Georgetown University fired him as track coach after the team revolted against his intense workouts, though he remains as a fencing coach.
                "He believes in 'no pain, no gain' " says Ricardo Urbino, a three-time All-American middle-distance runner who trained under Benedek at Georgetown, graduating in 1967. "He made us run 130-mile weeks, even the short-distance runners, and he was one of the first coaches in the United States to institute twice daily workouts.
                "It was the European method -- very austere," Urbino continues. "It worked for me, but I can understand how he would come under fire. There were seven scholarship runners when I started and only two left by senior year." Urbino has since become a D.C. Superior Court judge and for the past three years has sent his two children to Camp Olympic. He says Benedek's coaching helped his 12-year-old son, Ian, win the 3,000-meter run at the regional junior Olympics held in North Carolina last month.
                "It was an awful time then," says Benedek about the year he was fired. "It was Vietnam. There was no leadership in the country. We gave up our principles. I don't blame the youngsters."

                Comment


                • #9
                  What a nutcase....


                  "It was an awful time then," says Benedek about the year he was fired. "It was Vietnam. There was no leadership in the country. We gave up our principles. I don't blame the youngsters."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Searching online for more info on this incident, apparently Stageberg was not really a strike ringleader, but as the senior Team Captain was caught in the middle and he helped set up the alternate workouts for the strikers.

                    Having just finished a Cross Country season where he was IC4A Champ and NCAA Runner-up, he was doing just fine under Benedek. But the conflict took the fun out of it and he dropped the sport for a couple of years, before mounting a brief but successful comeback in 1971 (2nd in AAU Nationals 3-Mile).

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by wamego relays champ View Post
                      Searching online for more info on this incident, apparently Stageberg was not really a strike ringleader, but as the senior Team Captain was caught in the middle and he helped set up the alternate workouts for the strikers.

                      Having just finished a Cross Country season where he was IC4A Champ and NCAA Runner-up, he was doing just fine under Benedek. But the conflict took the fun out of it and he dropped the sport for a couple of years, before mounting a brief but successful comeback in 1971 (2nd in AAU Nationals 3-Mile).
                      Stageberg also was second in the 1971 AAU Cross County Championships behind Frank Shorter.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        1969 was when big mileage was the norm, even in high school....but this guy took it to the extreme....they were college students....

                        More on this wierd story....

                        https://idnc.library.illinois.edu/?a...-txIN---------

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Conor Dary View Post
                          What a nutcase....


                          "It was an awful time then," says Benedek about the year he was fired. "It was Vietnam. There was no leadership in the country. We gave up our principles. I don't blame the youngsters."
                          Why is that? Benedek was right.

                          Or are you a disciple of the Johnson and Nixon philosophies who kept the USA in Vietnam after the USA's illegal, immoral and unethical invasion of Vietnam?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Tuariki View Post

                            Why is that? Benedek was right.

                            Or are you a disciple of the Johnson and Nixon philosophies who kept the USA in Vietnam after the USA's illegal, immoral and unethical invasion of Vietnam?
                            Let's forget Vietnam....it was really dumb....

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by wamego relays champ View Post
                              Searching online for more info on this incident, apparently Stageberg was not really a strike ringleader, but as the senior Team Captain was caught in the middle and he helped set up the alternate workouts for the strikers.

                              Having just finished a Cross Country season where he was IC4A Champ and NCAA Runner-up, he was doing just fine under Benedek. But the conflict took the fun out of it and he dropped the sport for a couple of years, before mounting a brief but successful comeback in 1971 (2nd in AAU Nationals 3-Mile).
                              Would this have been that IC4A or NCAA meet? From the Runner's World book "Guide to Distance Running), 1971. Caption reads "Art Dulong, Frank Shorter, and Steve Stageberg hang to the left of the group before splashing through an instant stream at Van Cortlandt Park in New York City".



                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X