Knoxville Tn – The University of Tennessee’s newly formed crew and rowing team has come under fire from the NCAA sanctions committee for allegedly entering a “non-conforming” water vessel in its most recent meet against Rice University. The boat titled “Corn Squeezins I” was met with a mix of shock and uncertainty by those in attendance and came under immediate protest by the Rice team. ” There was no way we were going to row against that monstrosity” said William Needham III, captain of the Rice squad. Most egregious of the cited violations was the 60 hp Briggs and Stratton outboard motor the Volunteers had rigged on the back which they had initially tried to conceal with a rain poncho. Inspectors also added a depth finder, live well, pop-up duck blind and other sport fishing equipment to the list of irregularities
While acceptable specifications may vary depending on which club is sanctioning the meet. It is universally agreed that most boats (referred to as shells) cannot exceed 1/8″ to 1/4″ thickness and should make use of no apparatus other than its occupants and their sculls (oars) to aid in moving the boat. “We like to allow for some design flexibility in the boats from time to time”, said Blaine Worthing, assoc. chair of the Collegiate Crew Assoc, the governing body of division I competitive rowing, “it allows the students to incorporate some ingenuity into the sport and adds to its beauty and complexity but the Tennessee crew team took a few too many liberties in this case”, he concluded.
“I think them boys was jes plain yella… truth be told” commented Lee Suggs, 8th year senior and captain of the Tennessee Team.” We no sooner pulled her off the flatbed and dropped er in then thay come a runnin and lookin around and acting all smarmy like….so we was like brang it on you yankee SOB’s…go git yer own motor and we gonna blow yalls doors off….these colors don’t run….”
Competitive rowing, while offered at the collegiate level since 1815, has been slow to catch on in the southeastern state schools where football and basketball are clearly the preferred spectator and participant sports in that region. “We definitely want to branch out to some of the lesser known but equally as important sports programs here at UT” said UT athletic Director Mike Hamilton,” we considered gymnastics and fencing but it was deemed to “wussified” by the majority of our invested alumni. Rowing just seemed like the most logical next best thing. After all most of these boys have been around the water most of their lives, whether it be rock skippin’, frog giggin’, rowin’, or just plain old wadin’ ……Git er dunnn!” Hamilton concluded.
In his follow up report to the NCAA, Worthing admitted that while the motor was the only piece of equipment that could reasonably give the UT team a decided advantage, the fishing equipment, igloo coolers, and diving board would have to be removed before they would be allowed to compete again.