Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Chapter VIII

Chapter VIII: Summary and Recommendations
I believe the assertions and claims made in the foregoing pages and the attached documentation that lends authenticity to them have made a strong case for acceptance of the fact that the University of Southern California developed a very powerful and nationally recognized men's volleyball team in only two short years during 1949 and 1950. In addition to winning tournaments on the local and state levels, the USC team successfully captured the national collegiate titles in those two years. Nine USC team members distinguished themselves by being named to the United States Volleyball Association All-American teams for their outstanding play in those two national tournaments. Five were named in 1949 and four in 1950.

Unfortunately, in spite of the volleyball team's amassing of such an impressive record, it was unable to obtain the necessary recognition which would assure its future growth and development. As a result, beginning with the 1951 volleyball season, the team did not persist in a role of leadership in a pursuit of establishing volleyball as a regular competitive sport among the colleges and universities. What remained of the USC team, after a number of its players left to join local YMCA and athletic club teams, floundered and was no longer a viable force with which to reckon as had formerly been the case. USC did not participate in the national collegiate championship tournament in 1951 to defend its title. The College of Medical Evangelists team which had practiced with the Trojans in the USC gym, and which had gained acclaim by garnering a third place behind USC and the University of Mexico in the 1950 nationals in Knoxville, Tennessee, also defaulted on the opportunity to play in the 1951 nationals. 1951 spelled the end of a brief, but glorious collegiate volleyball era.

It is not the intent of this report to place blame. Many factors contributed to the decline of collegiate volleyball in Southern California during the years following a very encouraging beginning during 1949 and 1950. Ordinarily, one would simply write such things off as being past history. But, that is exactly the point of this report - USC and USVBA historical accounts have completely ignored and/or forgotten this early successful experiment to bring the sport of volleyball to the colleges and universities as a supported competitive athletic activity. This, then, is precisely why I undertook the task of attempting to correct those omissions. I believe it is fair to say that I am perhaps the only one who is in possession of the documentation necessary to arouse the interest of the University of Southern California administration and/or trustees, and the officials of the United States Volleyball Association in order that they might give serious consideration to bestowing belated recognition of the effort put forth during 1949 and 1950 to create intercollegiate volleyball competition.

I would suspect that the majority of those involved in volleyball during the 1949-1950 era must now be quite aged or no longer alive. That is why physical documentation becomes so critically important to back up any present-day revisitation of that period in volleyball history. There must surely be some former USC and CME players alive today. Unfortunately, to my knowledge, there has been no attempt made over the past half-century to bring any of them together in order to reminisce about a brief two years of the existence of a collegiate volleyball Camelot. Perhaps this report, if sufficiently accepted and publicized, can serve that end as well. In any case, the amazing accomplishments of the USC volleyball team should become a permanent part of Trojan athletic history. USVBA, which sponsored the collegiate nationals in 1949 and 1950, should record the facts presented herein in its history book in much greater detail than it has up to now.

As I wind up this rather onerous, but rewarding work, I have already reached and gone beyond my 80th birthday. Therefore, it would be pleasant, to say the least, to be around to witness some positive responses to this report.