Saddleback students don’t care about their campus sports teams
Saddleback College vs. Cypress College at Great Park stadium in Irvine, California. Photo credit: Nik Lamas-Richie
As the new Saddleback College stadium gets closer to completion, four years after building began, the controversy it has created in delays has trumped the excitement for the $62 million investment. In speaking with students on the campus quad, only four out of 30 knew that a new stadium is under construction and none of the 30 had ever attended a Saddleback sports event.
In all honesty, I’ve only attended one, and that was because I wanted to learn how to take action photos. As you can see above, I’m terrible at it. What I did notice, the seats were empty, and the only people who cared were the athletes and their parents.
Sam Satossky, a Saddleback student who hopes to be a National Football League sports agent at Relic Agency, Inc., based out of their west coast hub in San Juan Capistrano, states, “Sports at the community college level becomes a hobby for athletes and not a passion. The teams don’t affect the day-to-day student because the team winning doesn’t affect the outlook of the student’s grades or pride like it did in high school.”
I asked Satossky, whose office is down the street from Saddleback College, if he has ever attended a Saddleback athletic event and if he knew there was a new football stadium in construction. His answer shocked me:
“No, I have not, and the new stadium sounds great in theory,” Satossky said. “New is always cool,”and “You can pour $100 million into a new stadium, but pretty walls are meaningless. People are attracted by talent and winners; they feed off that energy.”
Since Satossky generally scouts at the NCAA Division 1 level, he explained that community colleges aren’t worth his time, “Thanks for making me aware,” he said, referring to the stadium.
Saddleback President Elliot Stern voiced his opinion in Lariat’s highest read article in decades, with over 17,625 page views. Stern discussed a slew of topics which you can read here.
Lariat News, November 2019 analytics, highest performing articles. Screen-grab: Lariatnews.com — (Click image to enlarge)
Stern stated, “I want to be frank and honest; The decision to make and create the stadium when it was made may not have been the decision I would make today.”
Only time will tell if the new stadium will make students care about their sports programs. Whether it is needed or not, Stern has lifted morale this semester with his commitment to beautification. The stadium itself was not his promise to fulfill. Instead, like the debt he inherited upon coming to Saddleback, the new stadium is part of his legacy package.
CORRECTION: An earlier draft of this article identified the student interview as an NFL agent. That information could not be confirmed and has since been revised.