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Columbia Spectator Staff

This past weekend, the Columbia football team wound down its season with a 38-16 loss at Brown. The Lions finished their schedule 4-6 overall and 2-5 in Ivy play. After early success in nonconference play, the Light Blue looked to be a force in the Ivy League. This team had a lot of talent. After a devastating knee injury last season, star senior linebacker Alex Gross returned to the gridiron for Columbia. There were high hopes for this year's team. But the season ended in disappointment. We cannot blame the players for the Lions' mediocre results. They were not perfect, but they played their hearts out this year, no doubt about it. Rather, we must lay the majority of the blame for the football team's performance at the feet of head coach Norries Wilson. Coach Wilson has brought much to Columbia's football program. The Lions were in the cellar of the Ivy League when he arrived, and we are no longer. Wilson is a strong recruiter and has assembled a respectable squad in his five years here. He is well liked and respected by his players. But this season showed the limits of his abilities as a coach. Time and time again, Wilson's calls have left Lions fans confused. On fourth and two at Harvard, when the Lions are trailing by 16, why kick a field goal? Columbia looked like it was unprepared for many games—we frequently fell behind early and were forced to play catch-up. A coach's job is to prepare his players, and Wilson clearly does not do that. We appreciate all that Wilson has done to improve the program here. But it is time for him to go. We do not accept mediocrity anywhere else at this university, and we cannot accept it any longer in our football program. We need a football coach who can recruit and bond with the team but also manage a game clock and send his players out of the tunnel ready to play. We are a long way from the team that dropped 44 straight in the '80s. And thank the lord we're not Princeton (the Tigers didn't win a single Ivy game this year). But Norries Wilson is not going to take us to the next level. Columbia deserves better. CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story stated that Princeton did not win a game this year. The Tigers did win a game—they just were winless in the Ivy League. Spectator regrets the error.

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