Two-time captain Matthew Glassman’s athletic scholarship has been revoked without explanation. COURTESY/GO JASPERS
By, Caroline McCarthy, Sports Editor and Managing Editor
Just after walking across the stage at the Manhattan College commencement ceremony, Jasper basketball player Matthew Glassman signed an agreement to renew his athletic scholarship for his graduate season.
But on July 14, Glassman posted an Instagram reel to announce this scholarship was wrongfully taken away from him, without any indication from the Jasper coaching staff.
“[Men’s basketball coach Steve Masiello] talks about being a family and having these hard conversations with the people that you care about and the people that you love,” Glassman said. “And after four years of me being there he couldn’t take two minutes — not even two minutes, maybe 30 seconds to say, ‘Listen Matt, you’re awesome. I just want to let you know that there are no guarantees for next year.’”
Glassman received an email from the financial aid office at Manhattan College stating they had “received confirmation from the Athletics Department” that Glassman would “no longer be participating” on the basketball team for the 2022-2023 school year. Attached to the email was a copy of Glassman’s cancellation letter.
“Dear Student Athlete,” it read. “This letter is to inform you that as of today June 2, 2022 you have been notified that Manhattan College will not honor your athletic scholarship for the upcoming 2022-2023 school year.”
Now, after a meeting on July 14 with Athletic Director Marianne Reilly and newly appointed Senior Associate Athletic Director Dan Velez, Glassman was given two options: return to Manhattan College and have his tuition paid for by working as a graduate assistant, or accept the scholarship spot on the team.
Well, really one option.
“They [Reilly and Velez] told me my coach [Masiello] did not want to give me the scholarship at this time,” Glassman said. “He had the option to just give me back the scholarship, he did not want to give it to me at this time.”
NCAA rules prohibit Glassman from playing on the team while accepting a full scholarship as a graduate assistant. Now, without a promise of a roster spot, Glassman is unsure of whether or not he will return to Manhattan College in the fall.
“Honestly to me, it wasn’t about grad school, it was more about my last year in basketball,” Glassman said. “I planned on having my last year.”
On May 19, the day after Glassman signed his 2022-2023 deal, Masiello called and told Glassman that his scholarship was not guaranteed after the completion of his undergraduate degree.
Masiello, the athletic department and the office of financial aid did not immediately respond to The Quadrangle’s request for comment.
Glassman told The Quadrangle that Masiello asked him “to be honest with him” and answer if he had really thought his scholarship was supposed to extend past the 2021-2022 school year. Glassman responded he was under the impression that as long as he did not violate his scholarship contract, it could not be taken away from him.
Glassman said his teammates were under the same impression, as many of them have shown their support to him both personally and on Instagram.
“Never in this conversation did I say that I would agree to voluntarily have my scholarship canceled,” Glassman said. “It’s a legal document that’s binding with both parties, and they can’t take it away from me.”
Glassman walked-on to the Jaspers in 2018 and was awarded the team’s final scholarship spot in October of 2021. Shortly after, Glassman told The Quadrangle that playing Division I basketball had been a goal of his since he was in the seventh grade.
“I came to school here as a walk-on, accomplished my dream of getting to play Division I basketball … [and got] the chance to have a scholarship,” Glassman told The Quadrangle. “Once I was finally given that, it kind of confirmed that all the stuff I was doing up until that point was important and necessary.”
He continued to say that becoming a scholarship student did not change how he approached his spot on the team. In fact, Glassman said it increased his willingness to train harder, play better and continue supporting his teammates and coaches however possible.
Glassman did just that. He described his relationship with Masiello as “very business-like” throughout his tenure on the team.
“He would hit me up when he needed me and I would do whatever he would say,” Glassman said. “I did everything he could have asked.”
After Glassman accepted his athletic scholarship in October, he started to plan for graduate school at Manhattan College. Had he had known his $58,440 scholarship would not be applicable, Glassman said he would have planned to attend a different college or university and try to end his career with one last season.
“I have gone above and beyond for Manhattan College and the basketball program, but still I am the one who got screwed over in the end,” Glassman said in his Instagram post. “Please help me share my story so that colleges and coaches can be held accountable for their actions.”
Glassman told The Quadrangle he feels betrayed, angry and stuck by the decision made by the program that he has dedicated the last four years of his life to.
He referred to himself as being “another Division I athlete who has been backstabbed” in his Instagram post. Specifically, the hypocrisy he has felt from Masiello.
Glassman said that to his knowledge, Reilly instructed Masiello to give Glassman the scholarship. For reasons unbeknownst to Glassman, Masiello refused.
“If he’s not ready to give a four-year-soon-to-be-grad-student, who went from a walk-on to a scholarship player and became captain, who did everything he asked for — if he sees someone else that has more value to the team than me, go for it,” Glassman said.
The Athletic Department has assured Glassman that despite Masiello’s refusal, he is still welcome to accept a scholarship position on the team. However, Glassman said he will not feel comfortable returning to a program that treated him with such disregard.
“Nobody deserves to go through what I went through and still will be going through this summer. To all the current and future NCAA athletes, I have your back. Now please, protect mine,” Glassman said in the post.