John Brown University Faculty Racquetball

Faculty builds community through sports

The Threefold Advocate published this article on October 26, 2017.


While intramural season began for students at John Brown University in the fall, a lesser-known form of community recreation has been in effect much longer.

John Brown University faculty members have participated in intramural sports as well as an organized pickup game for over 20 years. Basketball and racquetball are two of the most popular faculty-organized sports, but professors have also organized intramural soccer and flag football teams as well as mountain biking and road biking groups.

Kevin Simpson, a psychology professor at JBU, played on an intramural soccer team last spring at the request of a student. The team was comprised of JBU faculty, and played against other student teams.

“We’re a pretty good team,” Simpson said. “It’s just funny because you still have those competitive tendencies but you kind of have to dial it back a bit so you don’t say or do something stupid.” Simpson, a graduate of JBU as well as a former JBU soccer player, said he loves the opportunity intramurals give him to continue playing soccer and building a sense of campus community.

“I love it because you often mix in with the students so you’re teammates but also competitors,” Simpson said. “I just think it adds [to your relationship] because they get to see a different side of you.”

Ed Ericson, Vice President of Academic Affairs, regularly plays basketball and racquetball at the Walton Lifetime Health Complex. Wednesdays and Fridays at noon, a group of six to eight faculty and community members play pickup basketball games. Organized by Ryan Ladner, Associate Professor of Marketing, the group used to go by the name of “LBA,” or “Lunchtime Basketball Association.”

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