Every student who has attended UCSB for any length of time has been frustrated at one point or another with the ineptitude and bumbling that seems to ooze from the pores of the bureaucratic structure of this fine institution. Whether it has been the sky-rocketing tuition and two-hour lines at the Billing and Financial Aid offices, mysterious crashes on the GOLD system, simply attempting to work out at the Rec Cen, just trying to park your car anywhere or just wondering why you don’t have any classes in all these brand new buildings around campus (they’re for research, not lowly undergrads), we have all faced the same frustrations
These minor bumps in the road, however, are nothing compared to the recent injustice incurred to our university’s current and perpetually most successful sports team (excluding the current amazing run of men’s soccer) by the athletic department. The UCSB women’s volleyball team recently received the 13th seed in the NCAA Tournament field of 64, an honor that guarantees the hard-earned privilege of hosting the first two rounds this weekend. Now, you may be asking yourself, “Why haven’t I heard or seen anything around campus about the big games this weekend?” This is because, as I type this article, the volleyball team is on a five-hour plane ride to Georgia.
For a normal athletic department with foresight and competence, hosting the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament would mean bringing some national attention as well as revenue to its program, two main goals of any athletic program. If you asked them, they would say something like, “It’s concern for the well-being of the student athletes and their education.” However, based on personal experience as a former UCSB student-athlete, I can tell you there is little of that going around.
Unlike men’s soccer, which was screwed out of hosting the first round of its NCAA tourney by an outside party, women’s volleyball was screwed by its own athletic department who approved the scheduling of basketball games in the Thunderdome on three of the four possible days that hosting could have occurred. That is like your parents telling you, “You better find somewhere other than home to come for Christmas this year. Your older sister’s boyfriend is staying in your room. And by the way, we just love her more.”
Maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on our athletic department, I mean how could they have possibly known last year when making the basketball schedule that the then two-time defending Big West champs would get to host the tournament. Everybody has a down year now and then right? Oh, wait, what’s this coming across the sports desk – UCSB women’s volleyball hasn’t missed being invited to NCAA Tournament in the 24 years since the tournament began.
Daily Nexus staff writer Matt Boelk swears he’s not a volleyholic.