Opinions & Editorials

Masiello Rumors Stole the Spotlight

KYLEIGH PANETTA

STAFF WRITER

Masiello this. Masiello that. Lately the spotlight has been focused on everything that Steve Masiello, the head men’s basketball coach at Manhattan College, has or has not done.

Have we forgotten how great Manhattan College’s men’s basketball team actually was this past season?

Before the controversy arose surrounding Masiello and his credentials, we all agreed on one thing, the Jaspers were a force to be reckoned with.

In his first year at MC, Masiello took the Jaspers from a 6-25 record to 21-13 the next season. There is no doubt in my mind that Masiello is a great coach.

I came from a very small high school with about 180 students per grade and our athletic programs were not the strongest. When I came to MC, I immediately felt proud to have such talented, determined athletes.

The athleticism I saw at my first MC basketball game, along with such a spirited student body cheering on our fellow Jaspers, was refreshing.

I am most certainly not an expert in the area of sports, but I know a talented athlete when I see one. I can tell when someone puts their heart into a game, and that is exactly what I saw when I attended MC basketball games this past season.

Everyone wearing green on the sidelines and on the court put their all into this season and it paid off.

But why aren’t we talking about all of the growth we have had? Why aren’t we talking about all the odds we beat? Why aren’t we applauding the players?

Instead we are immersing ourselves in rumors and gossip that surround Masiello. It’s not even clear what the true story is here about Masiello. But we are judging and criticizing him instead of focusing on all the great things the basketball team has accomplished.

Masiello played a huge role in getting the Jaspers to the NCAA this season, but the players made it happen. Masiello could have put his all into the basketball team and not received anything back. MC’s thirteen men’s basketball players did the actual work and they deserve to be recognized.

I personally do not understand how people can juggle being college students and Division I athletes at the same time. Practice, class, eat, lift, class, eat, film, eat, homework, sleep. I give college athletes so much credit and so should other people.

The rumors surrounding Masiello are controversial because no one was expecting it and no one seems to know the true story. So while the real story and the future of MC’s head basketball coach is being figured out, we all need to applaud the things that were successful this year.

The real story about Masiello and the status of his college degree still does not seem concrete. And it’s a shame that the nation knows Manahttan College as having a head men’s basketball coach without a degree.

One night the Jaspers were cutting down the nets after winning the MAAC championship. The next night they put up a fight against Louisville during the first round of the NCAA. And, the next night there are rumors spiraling out of control about Masiello going to USF and background check discrepancies.

It seems like there was never a time to stop and admire the accomplishments that MC’s men’s basketball team had this year.

When it comes down to it, Masiello is a successful coach and MC’s men’s basketball team deserves to be recognized for their achievements this year. Forget about Masiello because no one knows the real story or what is going to happen next. Focus your energy on applauding what went exceptionally well. The more people gossip about Masiello, the more people will remember it. Instead, make people remember the good things about the 2013-2014 men’s basketball season.