Letter to the Editors: Athletic Department Dismisses Student Queries

Katie Baldonieri

To the Editors:

In my three years here at Oberlin College, I have come to not assume respect from my peers, professors or administration for the fact that I am part of the varsity softball program. I have expected and experienced, for the most part, respect from the Athletic Department. On Tuesday morning, fewer than 24 hours after we finished our season with two solid wins, I was proven wrong. My head coach and subsequently my assistant coach were asked, I assume, to step down from heading our team. My coaches, my fellow teammates and I were understandably upset by this turn of events. Being the naïve, idealistic college student that I am — was — I believed that if we were to sit down and chat with the Athletic Directors and explain that they must have made a mistake, we could get my coaches’ jobs back. Oh, how wrong I was.

The disrespect I felt when dealing with the ADs is hard to describe. Not only did they treat us like small children who couldn’t possibly understand that complexities of being an adult, but they couldn’t even have the decency to act like they were interested in talking to us or in anything we had to say. They spoke about our coaches as if they had actually been to a game (one of the ADs I had never met or seen before, and the other only comes to the games to talk on his/her cell phone and seems rather uninterested or even bothered to be there). Why should these two people be deciding the fate of a program that they don’t even care about?

You know, without us — the players — you wouldn’t even have a job. Aren’t you here at Oberlin to help further the lives of the players and students you work with? If you answered yes to that question, you wouldn’t have fired the two people at Oberlin who actually gave a damn about me as person and not just as a source of income.

–Katie Baldonieri