After being elected to become the next Associated Students president, I expected the media to start calling so that they could misquote me. However, I did not expect it to happen multiple times before I was even sworn into office.
The Nexus printed an article by Stephanie Tavares (Daily Nexus, “Gaucho Gridiron: Play, Punt or Pass,” May 8) containing information that is very incorrect about my stance on football and my plans for what I will do in office. Then, to top themselves, Nexus columnist Steven Ruszczycky read their bad article and screwed up the truth even further in an opinion column (Daily Nexus, “A.S. President-Elect Indulges in Costly Pipe Dreams,” May 14). But it doesn’t end there. Next, the Nexus refused to print my article until I made a couple of corrections because my article was not 100 percent correct (this concept will be very funny if you continue reading). I hadn’t detailed their mistakes. So this is my corrected version of the truth. This will be the first of what could be many letters to tell the students of UCSB the actual truth as opposed to what the Nexus thinks will make good news.
I will start with the mistakes from the Nexus article (skip this if you don’t want to read about corrections):
1) “… Hampton is working to bring back Gaucho football, as stated in his campaign platform…” I have not done anything other than correct people that believe I have actually started working toward the football program, and it was not stated in my campaign platform.
2) “Hampton supported re-establishing football after the fraternity Lambda Chi Alpha collected 4,200 signatures…” I didn’t support anything; I simply took an interest, collected information and spoke with the involved parties about the issue.
3) “After Hampton proposed the plan to the athletic department…” Members of the Alumni Association and Lambda Chi Alpha proposed the plan to the athletic department and to me. It was never MY plan!!! At this point there are repeated mistakes where the idea for football is made to sound like it was my idea.
The opinion article by Rusczcycky that followed contained recurring errors because all of the author’s knowledge came from the Nexus article, which was incorrect four of the six times my name was used.
So, for those of you interested in the president’s agenda, here is how reality proceeded to occur. I have reviewed a proposal by a group of alumni that details how UCSB can create a successful football program without enormous costs to the students. While I have spoken with the people behind the plan, it is in no way my creation or personal project. I am skeptical of the idea because I have major concerns for our existing athletic programs and their continued success. If, in my research, I find anything that will take away from our current programs, then I will oppose the plan to bring back football.
Had Steven Ruszczycky done any research before writing his column, he would have found out that the plan from the alumni is to add three women’s sports programs and increase funding and attendance for all athletic programs from the revenues generated. It is understandable that Don Burnette wrote a letter to the editor (Reader’s Voice, “A Student’s Translation of the Gauchoholic Party Platform,” May 16) with his list of complaints after reading Tavares’ article, since the paper had led him to believe I was the origin of the football plan. I have no qualms with him; he just made the mistake of believing that our paper could be trusted to write the truth. My problem is with Ruszczycky, a Nexus columnist who wrote a large opinion article without any information other than his impression of the original article. If anybody wants to write an article about or referring to me, I invite you to contact me first and get some information.
So here is the truth in a very simple form that all of the writers out there can understand: Before I do anything to bring back a football team here, I plan to research the impact on the school, students, athletic program and community. Football is not as urgent an issue to me as the Nexus would lead you to believe. They make it sound like football was at the top of my agenda while running for office. Football was not a part of the 12-step program that I campaigned on for a reason – it isn’t a top priority. As I take office, my focus will be on those issues I campaigned on. Safety on campus and in Isla Vista, bikepath and parking improvements, outreach to student groups and better on-campus events are at the top of my concern list. Currently, I am in the process of interviewing students to be appointed to the very important boards and committees that make this school function; I am not busy working on football plans.
When I decided to come to UCSB, I believed that the only thing this school was missing was a quality football program. A football team is something that I would like to see brought back here. However, my focus during my presidency will be on the things that I was elected to do, not on the issues the Nexus believes will make good news.
Brian Hampton is the Associated Students president-elect and president of the Gaucho Locos.