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New varsity pool sport weaves success in water

By Justin Maskulinski
On April 1, 2014

This is a satirical piece.

When one hears the word 'pool,' instincts often force him or her to associate the word with swimming.

This might not be the case at Miami University anymore.

Tuesday, the Federation of Aquatic Kinetic Entities (FAKE) granted Miami the privilege of being one of 32 schools nationwide to have a NCAA varsity underwater basket weaving team.

Miami will be opening this new era in the aquatics center Nov. 31, and head coach Leif Guard could not be any happier.

"I am so proud of these kids," Guard said, referring to the 20 weavers he has on board. "They have been weaving so well, and they never stop swimming. We watch the segment of 'Finding Nemo' before every practice when Dory repeats, 'just keep swimming, just keep swimming.' I think I'm going to get some T-shirts made."

The sport of underwater basket weaving does not actually involve much swimming, as the object of the game is to see which five-man team can assemble a wicker basket the fastest.

Schools will often submit two to four teams of five in the competition, and the time is not the only form of judgment. The teams are also judged based on four other categories: Presentation, Operation, Ostentatiousness and Professionalism (POOP).

The commissioner of FAKE Arthur Curry described the efficiency of the POOP scale.

"The POOP scale is as close as we can get to flawless judgment," Curry said. "By having four categories of judgment, we are able to flush out some of the lower performers."

Curry also thanked the Miami administration for allowing the addition of underwater basket weaving.

"We had a great time working with [Miami's] athletic administration," Curry said. "The first weaving meet is already sold out. The inaugural match will be in Oxford, and it will be up against Navy, which will really show where the RedHawks float in the standings."

The RedHawks just released their roster, and the 20-man roster has just two seniors on it, Nemo Smith and Johnny Lifevest.

"We have been trying to bring this underrated sport to Miami for three years," Lifevest said. "It's so great to see our idea floating to the surface in this great pool of dreams I like to call life."

The team will also have a high school All-American in the pool starting next fall: Cesto Tessitore.

Tessitore spoke about his decision during the Under Water ® All-American Game three weeks ago.

"I believe that I was born to attend Miami University," Tessitore said. "During my visit I saw a lot of boat shoes, so I could tell that this campus is serious about aquatic athletics."

Tessitore chose Miami over 31 other full ride scholarship offers he received.

"I'm looking forward to attending Miami in the fall," Tessitore said. "The rec center is great, and all of the trees allow for a great wood supply for weaving practice."

Tessitore was interviewed during the first underwater basket weaving practice last Friday.

"Blub blub blub, glub blub glub," Tessitore said, before swimming above the water.

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