Robert Morris University Illinois announced its new program this month and said it recognizes the growing legitimacy of what are known as “eSports.” The school says it also wants to give credit to those with a competitive spirit who don’t necessarily want to play traditional sports such as basketball or football.
Associate Athletic Director Kurt Melcher, who will be in charge of the school’s new varsity eSports program, said Friday that he expected a certain amount of surprise and attention, but was surprised by just how much feedback he’s getting.
“It’s interesting. There’s two sides: There’s the gamers side, who feel like they’ve been vindicated or liberated,” he said. “Then there’s the hardcore athletes side, who say, ‘What do you mean? That’s not a sport.’”
I believe my grandfather and more than 50% of my family would echo the latter sentiment. They might even throw a rock or two at me. But that won’t stop the growing popularity of eSports and those competitive events connected to them. You see cheering crowds there that are bigger than some baseball games.
To add incentive to the new varsity eSports, Robert Morris University is offering scholarships for students interested in the program:
Starting this fall, the scholarships will cover up to 50 percent of tuition and 50 percent of room and board. That’s worth up to $19,000 per student. Robert Morris says it is among the first in the nation to offer such substantial scholarships of this type. (via)
I honestly think there’s more weight to this than any of the other unconventional scholarships you might find out there. I think I’d have an easier time getting this than I would some silly left handed scholarship.
Hopefully they will give the athletes varsity jackets and patches. The illusion of being accepted is better than nothing. I know that all too well.
(Via Washington Post)