SportsNation’s Marcellus Wiley returned to Columbia University on Thursday night as his 1996 Lions football team was inducted into the Columbia University Athletics Hall of Fame.
The 1996 squad became the third team from the program to be inducted into the university’s Athletics Hall of Fame, joining the 1933 team that won the 1934 Rose Bowl, 7-0, over Stanford, and the 1961 team, the only Columbia football team to win an Ivy league title. Wiley was a 2006 inductee as an individual after transforming from a freshman running back into an eventual NFL second-round draft choice defensive end.
Front Row caught up with Wiley, Class of 1997, after the ceremony to discuss his college football days and the coincidence that his fellow SportsNation commentator and ESPNLA 710AM Radio co-host Max Kellerman (’98), is also a Columbia alum.
What is your favorite memory from your time playing Lions football?
Winning our first game my senior season against Harvard in overtime. That was the crystallizing moment for our ’96 team, that not only could we be good, but we would be good.
What does being part of the Columbia University Athletics HOF mean to you?
It means being distinguished amongst some of the greatest contributors to our society. In addition to Columbia’s esteemed academic reputation, it’s important to reward the balancing act of athletic success.
Being that Kellerman is also a Columbia alum, do you guys often talk about the Lions?
I’m still mad at him for not attending one football game while he was a student. In all seriousness, it’s so ironic that our roads crossed years later after having the same collegiate experience. We always laugh at how we never ran into each other once back then, but can’t get away from each other now!