The Culinary Institute of America Wants to Remind You They Have a Real Basketball Team

By Mike Pomranz |
FWX CIA SPORTS TEAM

© Kai Stiepel / Andrew Unangst

Here’s a list of some of the colleges that have started out this year’s basketball season 3 – 0: the North Carolina Tar Heels, the Kentucky Wildcats and the Culinary Institute of America Steels.

Granted, CIA plays much weaker competition in the Hudson Valley conference, part of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association, but still, is beating Word of Life Bible by 16 points a laughing matter? (Don’t answer that.)

CIA’s commitment not just to cooking, but to athletics as well, came to light again when the New York Times covered the school yesterday in their sports section of all places. Though the Steels – yes, their mascot is a tool used to sharpen knives – also compete in soccer, cross country, tennis and volleyball, basketball is the school’s most recognizable sport.

Apparently, running a basketball team isn’t easy. Due to the nature of the school’s enrollment (new classes come in and graduate every three weeks) and other factors unique to the school, students often leave mid-season. “You have to be very flexible,” coach Tim McEnroe told the Times. “Last year we started off the season 6-2 and were really playing well. I had five kids graduate in December, one kid went on an externship, and another kid had to go away on a field trip for his wine class for 21 days. That’s seven kids out of 14. You know that going in.”

Still, apparently CIA has won regular-season or playoff conference championships at some point in four of their five sports: 10 total banners since 2006. Sounds like SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry needs to step up their game!

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