Varsity athletes are arguably some of the most hard-working students of the Brandeis community. They balance being on an intercollegiate team, being full-time students, being involved in other areas on campus and often holding jobs. Despite being a selling point Brandeis highlights to prospective students, varsity athletes are not being adequately supported by the university.

Within the last few years Brandeis athletics has had a seemingly never-ending list of problems. Most recently this included the unpopular decision to reinstate the head coach of the women’s basketball team, Carol Simon, after she was suspended with pay during the investigation following students reporting her for racist behaviors. The Brandeis basketball teams have not had an easy few years with former men’s basketball coach, Brian Meehan, being fired in 2018 amid allegations of racism and abusive behaviors towards his players.  

Another point of contention is the sorry state of the Brandeis softball field. In 2021 the Brandeis softball team was informed by former Vice President of Student Affairs Raymond Oh that their field would be rebuilt up to NCAA standards by October 2022. However, reconstruction has not yet occurred and the state of the field has reportedly worsened. Members of the Brandeis softball team have commented to The Justice in previous articles that the field is not equipped to deal with inclement weather, nor to practice on after dark, but most egregiously it is not up to NCAA size standards. This means that Brandeis is not able to host playoffs or tournament games, which has become a problem. The dugouts consist of chain-link fences with a tarp covering, which are not safe and put players’ health at risk.

Members of the softball team have commented in a previous article for The Justice that other schools have laughed at the condition of their field and that this was humiliating and embarrassing not only for their team but for Brandeis as a whole. 

In discussing bad facilities it is hard to leave out the outdoor track. Similarly to the softball field, the poor conditions of the outdoor track make it so Brandeis is unable to host any meets during the outdoor track season. The track is unsafe for athletes to practice on because it is littered with holes. This is incredibly dangerous for the track and field team which is required to practice on the track. 

Poor facilities like these in addition to inadequate coaching discourages people from playing sports at Brandeis. Many athletes stop playing sports at Brandeis or transfer to play at other schools. The lack of funding for varsity teams combined with substandard facilities and coaching deters prospective student-athletes from coming to Brandeis.

The people who should be supporting student-athletes are actively hurting them. Student-athletes put a lot of time and effort into sports, representing the University. However they often do not receive any support, which is an ongoing trend with the administration not supporting its students. 

Varsity athletes are a part of the Brandeis community that deserves to be supported. This board would like to acknowledge the hard work of varsity athletes as well as the contributions they add to the community. This board condemns the improper treatment of Brandeis varsity athletes and encourages the University to improve both their treatment of their athletes and the facilities they have to practice on. We advocate for the administration to be more supportive of student-athletes during tough times.

Editor’s Note: Justice Senior Editor Smiley Huynh ’24 is a member of the Brandeis Track and Field team and did not contribute to this article. 

Editor's Note: Justice News Editor Lin Lin Hutchinson ’25 is a member of the Brandeis Track and Field team and did not contribute to this article. 

Editor's Note: Justice Sports Editor Rani Balakrishna 25 is a member of the Brandeis Softball team and did not contribute to this article.