When ESPN’s Jim Rome visited our campus on Alumni weekend at the beginning of the month, Mark and I were invited to his reception at the Intercollegiate Athletics building.
[media-credit name=”Mark Bogard” align=”alignleft” width=”250″][/media-credit] After some orchestrated mingling (his handlers wouldn’t let him talk to us), Rome gave a quick speech before disappearing into a room to interview some UCSB basketball players, leaving the rest of us standing around with our wine glasses not knowing what to say to each other. That was when Mark and I began talking to Mark Massari, UCSB Director of Athletics.
Massari was pissed. The Nexus had just recommended students to reject his DARE referendum proposal, which would have allocated way too much of students’ funds over decades to improve athletics facilities. Needless to say, DARE didn’t pass.
Rob Gym was leaking, the baseball field relied on Andy Gumps instead of real bathrooms and our track was deemed unusable by the Big West. Massari wanted to know how the school’s athletic program would get better without better facilities.
He was right. Our facilities suck. Community colleges look better. Isla Vista Elementary looks better. Even Cal States look better — a fact that escapes the Gaucho Locos that chant “if you can’t go to school, go to State!” like we’re actually superior.
Gaucho sports do seem to have a common theme. We get close, we upset higher-ranked teams in our conference during irrelevant regular season games and then we lose. The cycle continues. We had an unprecedented two teams (men’s volleyball and club rugby) make the national championships this season and we couldn’t close either game.
So we debated: Which comes first, the facilities or the team?
I said the team. Sorry, Massari.
Money doesn’t care about soccer. Volleyball almost won, but money doesn’t care about volleyball, either. Or women’s sports.
Money cares about football and men’s basketball. Maybe even baseball. We don’t have a football team, of course, and our basketball team seems content with tournament berths. They’re happy just to be under the nationally televised lights.
You’re going to tell me that there isn’t one high-major caliber player down to come to UCSB for the beaches and the girls — in spite of some of our shoddier facilities? That nobody wants to be the guy to lead a team from a no-name conference to a Sweet 16? That the first time Gonzaga won a tournament game with a bunch of white guys was because they had superior talent?
There’s too much complacency amongst some of the athletes and personnel in all Gaucho sports. Conference championships are great, but they should be expected. Dare to be great, like the ads say, and it will happen.
In spite of the disappointments and a really awkward drive back from Berkeley after soccer lost, my year as a Sports Editor was one of the best and most challenging of my life. It’s been great. Thanks, Nexus staff, the News Girls outside my office who giggle way louder than necessary, readers who gave me shit, online commenter “Dailysuxass” and all of you who followed us following all these teams. I’ve learned a lot from all of you.
Three dollars an hour was totally worth it.
How did you ever get this job? Again, what an asshole. Maybe if UCSB had a paper and a writer who actually cared for and supported the teams and athletes there would be greater fan support.
You obviously have no idea what it takes to be a student/athlete at this level, especially in spite of the obvious lack of support from administration, faculty and now students too.
Sports people care about get fan support… have you been to other UC’s? Who goes to volleyball games? Who goes to any woman’s sport? No students go those events anywhere. Fan support is dependent on the sport, not the students. Soccer gets a great turn out, I’ve been to every game and made road trips. I think it’s great our volleyball team did well, but there is zero chance I would go to a game unless I knew people on the team personally. You obviously have no idea what it takes to be a Gaucho (studying, sex, and sports (the… Read more »
This was directed at the Gaucho Mom, not the author.
I have actually been to many campuses following Gaucho sports and you are wrong. Maybe the Gauchos are too busy studying and having sex (I would also add getting fucked up) to support their athletes.
I am wrong? People go to women’s track and field, swimming or water polo? Maybe if I had a friend, daughter or son on those teams I would go. Yes. I guess we are to busy have sex and drinking then going wasting our time going to those events.
It must be sad to be you.
and don’t mind my grammar. ;) i guess I’m “too busy studying and having sex (I would also add getting fucked up)”
Yes. It’s sad to have done well in school and have many lovely friends. It’s sad to throw tortillas onto the field after each goal and follow them religiously. It is sad to be graduating UCSB.
It must be sad trolling the nexus calling staff members assholes because they called out your son.
Honestly I usually read the nexus during season to see something positive. This was just very disappointing, especially knowing how devastated the guys were following the loss in the championship final match. Hoping for more from the home crowd and asking too much I guess.