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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Basketball team should play when fans can

Published: January 18, 2013
Section: Opinions

The Brandeis Judges are down by one point to UAA rival Chicago. Brandeis guard Gabe Molton ’14 drives to the hoop. He stops, turns and passes out to fellow guard Derek Retos ’14. Retos quickly checks the clock, sees there are two seconds left, and puts up a three-pointer. As the ball drifts toward the hoop, all the players’ eyes look up to see what’s going to happen. They all know this is the last shot of the game, if it goes in, the Judges will have pulled off an epic come-from-behind victory. As the ball comes down it seems to be perfect until …

In the end, it does not matter if the ball went in or not because the above description has not happened yet. That game will be played on Friday Feb. 15, meaning that very few Brandeis students will be able to see it. This is because that game will occur during a university holiday. In total, five of Brandeis’ seven home UAA games this season are during, or on the edges of, student breaks. The same was true last season as well.

I understand that Brandeis has some weird breaks that other schools do not have, but, in a way, maybe that could make the scheduling easier. I admit that I do not know the exact particulars of how a schedule is created but it seems that something was overlooked.

UAA games are a large part of what determines whether Brandeis will make the NCAA tournament, since the UAA champion has an automatic bid. Hence, having all the home games during breaks could be considered a competitive disadvantage, since when Brandeis plays at other schools they have their fans there because the games are during school.

As a Brandeis University senior, I am incredibly annoyed by this. I love going to the Judges’ games and have been robbed of the chance to do so for both my upperclassmen years.

I also know that this is true for many students around campus. Even though Brandeis students have a reputation for not being very into their sports teams, there are still many students who are passionate and really do care. Additionally, the soccer teams this past fall gained a lot of student support (aided by the fact that the home games were very dramatic). By having so many of our UAA games away, the momentum created by that could be lost.

As I said before, this is not to say that the UAA did not care when they made the schedule. Obviously a lot of time and effort does go into the creation of a schedule. For Brandeis to have so many home games during breaks—two years in a row—however, is just something that does not sit well. Perhaps there should be some kind of schedule rotation so that it does not always fall on one team to have their games during breaks.

Regardless of the schedule, the Judges are playing well and hopefully they can continue their ways. One of the two home games that are not during break is against the University of Rochester, currently ranked No. 2 in the latest D3Hoops poll. It would be a fantastic sight to see a ton of students going down to Red Auerbach Arena for both the men’s and women’s games.

Perhaps if the UAA officials begin to see all the school spirit that Brandeis students have, they will be more careful when making the schedule and will give Brandeis students a chance to cheer on their Judges.