Web Exclusives: From the P-Nut Gallery
a column by Nate Sellwyn nsellyn@princeton.edu

July 2, 2003:
Welcome to the P-Nut’s Hall of Shame
The uglier side of 2002-03 Princeton athletics

By Nate Sellyn '04

The P-Nut attended his first P-rade this year, and I have to pay homage to what was, by far, the most clever sign on display: “Down with sexism,” it read, “Bitches hate that.”

This week I’ve selected some athletes who can follow sexism right on outta here. My last column picked a few of the year’s top performers – students who dominated their sports during the past season. This column... well, let’s just say these athletes let pretty much everyone down.

The P-Nut’s All-Awful Team:
Spencer Gloger ’04, men’s basketball: I knew about Spencer Gloger well before I decided to attend Princeton. Sitting in the den of my igloo, thawing out some beaver soup, I read about Gloger in SLAM, the basketball magazine. He was the great hope for Princeton basketball. But he went to U.C.L.A. for his sophomore year after having an awesome freshman campaign at Princeton. It was fine because he came back after sitting out for a year there. Then he had to sit out a year here too, since the N.C.A.A. doesn’t allow Red Rover-style transfers. This season, though, this was it. Gloger was going to play. Princeton basketball, baby. Get fired up. Pump ‘Eye of the Tiger’ on your stereo. It was 2002-03, and Gloger was going to fertilize the Ivy League.

It didn’t work out that way. Gloger crapped out, but he didn’t fertilize anything. On February 20 the Tigers announced that Gloger, who at that point was living up to the hype, leading the team in both scoring and rebounding, had been ruled academically ineligible, and was not currently enrolled at Princeton University. Swish!

“Spencer has been declared academically ineligible,” said coach John Thompson in a statement. "I'm extremely disappointed for Spencer, but we will move on.” Coach, I’m disappointed, too. Gloger can return in 2004, but that is no excuse. Playing a sport at Princeton means being both an athlete and a student. Spencer Gloger has taken his time becoming one, and apparently can’t cut it as the other.

Sean Hartofilis ’03, men’s lacrosse: Being a great athlete is about far more than putting up big numbers. Great athletes are winners, players who come through in the clutch. My all-Princeton team included students who won when needed. Thomas Pauly ’04 – who signed with the Cincinnati Reds last month after being picked with the 51st selection in the Major League Baseball draft – made the difficult transition from closer to starter, and responded to the pressure with two dominating performances. Yasser El-Halaby ’06 consistently would lose his first two games before taking three straight to steal the match. Hartofilis just didn’t do it in the end. He was a star all season for the Tigers, who were preseason favorites to capture the Ivy League title. Coming off three straight N.C.A.A. finals appearances, the Tigers expected to ride junior Ryan Boyle and seniors Damien Davis, Brad Dumont, and Hartofilis to a national title. Didn’t happen. Despite a strong season, including some great games from Hartofilis, the team fell apart when the wins were most needed.

On April 26, the Tigers faced Dartmouth in a game that would decide sole ownership of the Ivy title. If Princeton won, they would retain a chance to win its ninth straight Ivy crown. If the Tigers lost, they would have to win the next week at Brown, and even then would gain only a share of the prize. So how did Hartofilis perform, coming off a Division I Player of the Week honor? No goals, no assists. No minutes, in fact, since “starting attackman Sean Hartofilis was suspended for the game for a violation of team rules.” Suh-weet! What was this violation? Here’s a hint... assault and battery of a photograph.

The Tigers lost, and in the end received only a share of the Ivy championship. They went on to take a 15-5 thrashing in the quarterfinals of the N.C.A.A. tourney. There was only one turning point in this season, and it came with the sound of broken glass at the Nassau Inn.

So that’s it, only two guys on my All-Awful squad. I’m a nice guy, I didn’t want to whine about more than two people.


You can reach Nate at nsellyn@Princeton.EDU