Tag Archives: CSUN Men’s Basketball

They Shoot, They Score, But Do They Pass?

CSUN’s student athletes are still recovering from the NCAA penalization of their men’s basketball team, after the former director of basketball operations allegedly committed academic fraud. The NCAA found that the director, Lior Schwartzberg, was doing online classwork for some of the players.

The incident highlights the challenges for student athletes, and many would agree that, at times, academics take a back seat when it comes to student athletes. This can lead to conflict between faculty members and athletic departments. That’s where Ed Jackiewicz, CSUN’s NCAA Faculty Representative, comes in to ease the conflict.

“A lot of faculty think [athletic] students are on a free ride and getting all these benefits, when, in fact, a lot of them don’t get any money, or much money, at all,” Jackiewicz said.

This assumption is only one of the stigmas athletes face; others are that their lives are easy because they get special privileges as athletes, that they’re not graded as hard as other students so they don’t have to try as hard in class, or that they’re lazy when it comes to their schoolwork in general.

“The myth is that student athletes aren’t good students, when, in fact, there are a lot of successful [athletic] students,” Jackiewicz said.

CSUN’s Athletic Director Dr. Brandon Martin said a lot of misunderstanding exists about the day-to-day life of student athletes.

“I mean, they essentially have two jobs,” Martin said. “They have to be students and athletes.”

In order to keep this balance, student athletes have to be good time-managers.

“Unlike a non-athlete, they have schedules that they have to follow, and they have to have an inordinate amount of discipline to follow that schedule,” Martin said. “That schedule really propels them to the success that we want them to have, both academically and athletically.”

Another pressure on student athletes is being the face of their universities.

“I feel like there’s more expectation for us, being student athletes,” said Carl Brown, a member of CSUN’s men’s basketball team. “We represent the program. We have to represent ourselves in a good way, on and off the court, because we’re representing not just ourselves, but the school too.”

Some student athletes have  commitments besides their sport and their school work. Track & Cross Country runner Manny Vargas is not only a student athlete. He also works part-time, and is in a fraternity. “It’s been a very tough process … [to be]… a student athlete; you’re working and in a fraternity; it’s a lot sometimes,” Vargas said.

CSUN has been working on providing resources to ease the busy lives of student athletes, and prevent another penalization.

“It was a chance for us to create a place, the Matador Achievement Center,” Martin said, “a place where our student athletes could really feel like [they] get the love and support and encouragement that they need to be successful.”

With these resources, and better relationships between faculty and the athletic department, student athletes are starting to prove the stigmas wrong.

Moderator: Star Harvey

Producer: Nathan Hoffman

Anchor: Shuandy Herrera

Social Media Editor: Tephanie Martinez

Reporters: Breanna Burnette, Max Goen, Star Harvey, Shuandy Herrera, Nathan Hoffman, Tephanie Martinez and Jennifer Montiel

Comments Off on They Shoot, They Score, But Do They Pass?